A poverty of understanding


I’ve been thinking a lot about thispost today. Here’s why.

After school I had a conversation with an NQT (hello, chief!) who, marvellously – astonishingly? – hasn’t been taken in by the bells, whistles and tinsel of active learning. He told me how on his PGCE a lesson where he just taught sciencewas criticised because there wasn’t any active learning. A later lesson, stuffed with card sorts, dripping with group work and sizzling with role play, was judged Oustanding™. And yet, despite all the flavours of success, those engaged students in their Taste The Difference lesson subsequently performed poorly on the test. What does this tell us? Nothing, really. It’s too anecdotal and, unfortunately and unreasonably, divisive: it’s my teaching is better than your teaching and I’m not really interested in it.


What this, and countless other stories like it, might demonstrate is what I keep thinking…

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