Thursday, 15 November 2012

Michael Gove Emphasises Importance of Exams

If the title is correct, then Mr Gove should have no argument with my proposal given in my comment to the discussion below.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Getting Rid of the Box

A key problem in education is that advisers/performance managers/most in a position of assessing schools/heads/teachers are assessing using criteria created by 'Gurus with no field experience'.  Check out

It is no good thinking outside the box if our thinking is still limited by criteria inside the box.

I suggest getting rid of the box containing criteria created by these 'Gurus with no field experience' and start with a clean sheet. You may have heard the expression 'look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves'.  An equally true expression is 'look after the learning (ie. get it right) and the exam results will take care of themselves'.

If we begin to educate our students into becoming independent learners rather than force-feeding them to pass exams, we shall produce students wanting to learn (one volunteer is worth ten 'pressed' men) and hence see the improvement all are trying aimlessly to achieve.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Personal Evidence for the 'Flipped Classroom'

I had explained the idea of the 'Flipped Classroom' to my A2 Chemistry students and the reasoning behind it (I always explain to my students why I do things as I do). Most teachers read the book with the students in the lesson and set questions for homework. I let my students read the book for homework (something they do not need me for) and do the questions in class (something they do need me for). One of my chemistry students looked worried. I asked her what was wrong and she said she could not see what she had done wrong as she couldn't get the answer given in the text book. I went over to her, checked her answer and told her it was correct: the answer in the text book was wrong. She smiled, regained her confidence and was able to carry on with renewed enthusiasm. Had she been doing the question at home, she would have spent hours looking over her answer in order to try and get the text book answer (which was wrong). In addition to wasting valuable time, her confidence would have gone and she would have had a restless night's sleep. If that is not a recommendation for the 'Flipped Classroom' I don't know what is! It is examples like this that add fuel to my cause of trying to convert teachers over here in the UK to my way of thinking and adopting the 'Flipped Classroom' approach.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Wrong Way Round

In most cases, students are given information in school and given questions/problems to do at home.  The information given by the teacher at school can be obtained by the student without the aid of the teacher (the internet is wonderful for obtaining information).  The questions/problems they are given to do at home require the help of the teacher.  Last week in class I noticed from the expression on the face of one of my chemistry students that all was not well.  Upon investigation I found the problem was my student could not obtain the answer in the text book.  I checked - the answer in the text book was wrong and my student's answer was correct.  Outcome: my student's confidence was immediately restored and she returned to the questions with renewed enthusiasm.  Had the question been set to do at home my student would have 'wasted valuable time' trying to obtain the 'incorrect book answer', suffered loss of confidence and had a poor night's sleep.  
I have been told of many occasions where students have been frustrated in not being able to do the work 'set to do at home' because it was work which needed the expertise of the teacher who was not available.  Also much of the work done in class does not need the expertise of the teacher.
So, is it not crazy to do work, which does not need the teacher, in the classroom, and to give work, which does need the teacher, to do at home?

Check out my Prezi 'Maximising Students' Learning' which contains information about the 'Flipped-Classroom'.

Friday, 27 April 2012

An Education System that has 'Lost Its Way'

Schools are so 'tied-up' with league tables/becoming outstanding/appeasing parents, that they have lost their primary functions of maximising students' potentials and educating them to become independent learners.  This is not a criticism of  the schools but of a system that has 'lost its way'.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Check out 'twiducate' and how to use it in the classroom.

I can thoroughly recommend it.

Give it a try and enhance your students' learning.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Key Issue in Education

Today, there is so much change in education that everyone appears to have lost sight of the underlying problem - lack of subject knowledge.  Until this crucial issue is resolved real improvement will not come.