The Signal Sharpens
If felt like in 2016 the signal sharpened. The education blogosphere improved its curation of quality posts. This is mainly thanks to Andrew Old’s work on the Echo Chamber. In 2015, 6,000 blogposts were published (over 100 a week), far too many to possibly keep up with. In 2016, this was slimmed down to 2,000, a much more manageable 40 or so a week. What I most like about reading education blogs is how they push our thinking forward.
Thought-provoking blogposts of 2016
Visuals from Oliver Caviglioli
Oliver’s work pushes our thinking forward on how we can best organise knowledge, especially using visuals, hierarchical categorization and graphic organisers. His work with Learning Scientists simplifies, clarifies and amplifies over 100 years of research evidence from cognitive science. Oliver’s media on twitter is a treasure trove.
Comparative Judgment from Daisy Christodoulou
Daisy’s work pushes our thinking forward on how we can improve assessment by tapping into teachers’ tacit knowledge, saving time while improving accuracy.
Struggle & Success from David Didau
David’s work pushes our thinking forward on how we think about learning, especially on the thorny questions of transfer and in his three-step model of success, internalisation and challenge.
Note-Taking from Toby French
Toby’s work pushes our thinking forward on how we can improve our pupils’ ability to take useful notes, and how straightforward excellent teaching can be.
Handwriting automaticity from Sarah Barker
Sarah’s work pushes our thinking forward on an often-neglected component of learning: handwriting, and how to automate it for weaker writers.
Here are other blogposts that had me thinking hard in 2016:
Brutal honesty & the right questions by Steve O’Callaghan
Disciplined enquiry by Phil Stock
Three fixes for edtech by Greg Ashman
Genericism by Michael Fordham
Neomania by Steve Adcock
Instruction by Kris Boulton
Assessment by Ben Newmark
The Luke Effect on workload by Antony Radice
Overcomplicating teaching by Jo Facer
Simplifying assessment by Stuart Lock
GCSE results by Tom Boulton
Roaring Tigers: Michaela teachers’ blogs
Jonny Porter: Sample & domain
Katharine Birbalsingh: Teachers
Cassie Cheng: No powerpoint
Olivia Dyer: Drill
Mike Taylor: A Michaela lesson
HinTai Ting: Starting at Michaela in Maths
Lia Martin: The art of narration
Roaring on the Tigers: Blogs About Michaela
(thanks to Naureen for her brilliant collation!)
Kelly Leonard: The importance of Debating Michaela
Stephen Tierney: Michaela is Marmite
Toby French: An Afternoon At Michaela
Tom Bennett: Sympathy for the Devil: My Day at Michaela
Tarjinder Gill: Love, Actually
Naureen Khalid: Come work at this School
Steve Adcock: Three things I learned from Michaela
Chris Guerin: So I Went to Michaela…
Freya Odell: I bloomin’ love Michaela!
Top blogposts posted in 2016 on this blog
Most viewed blogposts of 2016 on this blog
16 Top books of 2016
- The Path (reviewed by Jo Facer)
- Cleverlands (reviewed by Jo Facer)
- Hillbilly Elegy (reviewed by Jo Facer)
- The Happiness Hypothesis
- Bury The Chains
- Silk Roads
- Prisoners of Geography
- Fools, Frauds & Firebrands
- Metaphors We Live By
- The Bible for Grown Ups
- Why Evolution is True
- The Great Degeneration
- The Third Reich Trilogy
Highlights of 2016
Highlight #1. Debating Michaela (April 2016)
Here is an excellent review of the debates by the brilliant Kelly Leonard.
Here are two brilliant 1-page visuals of the talks by Oliver Caviglioli:
Highlight #2: ResearchEd (September 2016)
Daisy Christodoulou on Comparative Judgment
Rob Coe on Assessment
Tim Oates on Curriculum
Katie Ashford on Mental Health
Jon Brunskill: A remarkable demo of discovery vs didacticism in primary
Jo Facer: We’ve Overcomplicated Teaching
Highlight #3: Publishing Battle Hymn of The Tiger Teachers: over 4,000 copies sold in 1 month
Bootcamp & Homework as Revision Chapters as visuals, by the awe-inspiring Oliver Caviglioli:
Highlight #3: The Battle Hymn Book Launch (November)
Doug Lemov visiting and filming at Michaela was a great highlight of 2016. Visiting my old school was another highlight!
3 Trends in Education Blogosphere in 2016
Trend #1: Education debate intensifies: Dragon Slayers
All year, the traditional-progressive debate raged on. The dragon reared its head: high-profile educational leaders announced that the debate was ‘boring’ or pointless. Dragon slayers Toby French, Horatio Speaks, Andrew Old, James Theobald, Antony Radice, Rory Gribell and Phil Stock struck back with some superb blogposts, comprehensively routing those who are desperately, unsuccessfully, trying to silence the debate.
Why Progressives Can’t Make Progress by Antony Radice
Progressive education patronises the poor by Tarjinder Gill
Dangerous Conjectures by Horatio Speaks
Varieties of Boredom by David Didau
Trendiest Arguments for Progressive Education by Andrew Old
10 Years On: how the education debate has changed by Andrew Old
The unexamined life by Phil Stock
Shutting Down Debate by Rory Gribell
Tradition and Progress: A Real Dichotomy by Martin Robinson
A Defence of The Debate by James Theobald
Trend #2: Teachers start to replace marking with whole-class feedback… and OFSTED cut marking!
All over twitter new shoots are springing up: teachers using whole-class feedback.
Ofsted even started to close the yawning chasm between rhetoric and reality:
It’s official: your school’s marking policy is probably wrong in The Guardian
Trend #3: Great minds like a think: teachers with the courage to change their minds
The trend is unmistakable: there are an increasing number of teachers with the courage to state publically that they changed their minds on progressive thinking.
I was a teenage progressive: James Theobald
I changed my mind @heymisssmith
From a similar defector: I changed my mind by Mike Stuchberry
Others who have tweeted on this include Eric Kalenze, Optimist Prime, Greg Ashman, Whatonomy, Summer Turner, Chris Hildew, Phil Stock, DebsF, Emma Davies, David Didau, Sarah Ledger, Shaun Allison, Tom Boulter, Mr Chadwick, Aaron Kerrigan and others too numerous to mention.
3 Hopes for 2017
Subject-Specific Echo Chambers
With a new Chief Inspector, OFSTED stop grading teaching
Dragon-slayers: teachers increasingly challenge the hydra-like orthodoxies in schools in England