Making Sense of Interventions for Children with Developmental Disorders: A guide for parents and professionals

John Kenny Blog

The Arrowsmith Program’s purpose is to address specific learning difficulties through strenuous written, visual, auditory, computer and cognitive exercises, or brain training. Just this year, the Australian Education Union (AEU) hosted an event promoting the Arrowsmith program and published a four-page spread devoted to its heroic enterprise. The AEU magazine, in which the article is published, is widely read in education circles, sure to be placed by the biscuit tin in staffrooms for educators to pick up and have a read with their cup of tea at recess. The spread is appropriately glossy – full of stories of triumph and allusions to research backing the approach. Quite convincing to the untrained eye.

There is only one problem and a major one at that. There are zero independent studies endorsing the Arrowsmith Program as an intervention for students with specific learning difficulties. Despite its promotion by a very powerful organisation in a…

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“It’s How We Do Gender-Equitable Teaching” – Teach Like a Champion

Erica and I just spent an hour on the phone with a group of amazing colleagues–Audrey Spencer, Becky Banton, Jomara Laboy and Francis Vernyuy–who train Peace Corps volunteers working in education in Africa- either as teachers themselves or as teacher trainers.

Source: “It’s How We Do Gender-Equitable Teaching” – Teach Like a Champion

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The depressed teacher

For many years I have been recognised, in the main, as an ‘outstanding teacher’ by my peers, the LA and Ofsted. I learned from my errors, I listened to advice from those more experienced and I strove to improve my pedagogy through CPD and reading literature. In September 2012 I was recognised as an ‘outstanding’ teacher, one of only two in the school, by Ofsted yet only one month later I was deemed ‘requires improvement’ by the newly appointed headteacher. Why? What happened to my teaching? Where did I go wrong? How could I have let this happen? I questioned it yet found the reply insane- I didn’t meet the new observation checklist. A descent into ill health and depression followed with two emergency visits to A&E with suspected heart attacks.

Source: The depressed teacher

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Favourite education blogger posts of 2017

2017 has been quite a year for Education bloggers. These posts have questioned my beliefs in education, they have informed me and made me think. Best of all, they have caused a ripple in Education in England. A ripple that that demonstrates schools can do things differently whilst achieving fantastic outcomes for their students and improved well-being for their staff.

Source: Favourite education blogger posts of 2017

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Putting the Soul Back. Part III

teaching personally

A notorious historical phrase claimed that ‘Arbeit macht Frei’. It was wrong then and it is just as wrong now.

As I suggested in the previous post, the narrowing of educational objectives has been a cultural disaster. And not only that, there is only very weak evidence to suggest that the impact on Britain’s economic performance has been anything other than slight. The nation’s poor productivity and overall skill levels have stubbornly refused to improve; average earnings remain depressed and the range polarised. Furthermore, I suggest there is little evidence that our society is becoming generally more sophisticated, cultured and thoughtful – which might equally be reasonable a expectation of a more educated populace. What has perhaps been achieved is a supplier-side benefit in terms of making education (supposedly) more easily definable for the purposes of the accountability processes imposed on it by government – but that is hardly the…

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Creativity and the Kandinsky Critique


I think it’s fairly common for some to get the concept of creativity and creative problem solving mixed together and loaded into the one bag. I think this is a mistake. According to me they are very different beasts altogether. Being creative doesn’t make you a creative problem solver as such.

Creativity is a very nebulous concept indeed. It’s impossible to argue that Kandinsky was a very creative artist if those who disagree with you think he’s rubbish. If I think Kandinsky was creative, (and I do), I’m correct. If others think Kandinsky is boring and predictable, they too are also, correct. That’s creativity for you. It defies definition or logic and perhaps this is how it should be. Sir Ken Robinson describes creativity as “Having an original idea that adds value”. Does Kandinsky add value? For many people the answer might be no. Someone once told me that creativity…

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Give Them a Test

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on As We Learn:
I once had a conversation with a student teacher about a class they were about to start teaching. Unfortunately I can’t remember the particular topic we discussed but, like all other topics in maths,…

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