What should we consider to be legitimate professional knowledge, and who gets to decide? These are the questions raised by a stimulating paper released by the Confederation of School Trusts this week titled 'Communities of Improvement: School Trusts as fields of practice'. To my mind, the paper is a must read for anyone interested in … Continue reading Curating the canon
What seems normal now may one day appear peculiar. And many contemporary oddities will become the norm. Yet in the moment we are not very good at predicting which will be which. Education, and schools in particular, suffer this mallady. For example, about 70 years ago it was generally accepted that there was a natural … Continue reading Standards deviation
As we lurch into a half term break, many of us a little shell shocked and depleted, we contemplate the use of our precious time. For many, the priority will be to recharge. For a while we need to just 'be'; to avoid structure, goals, and requirement. The unwinding of body and mind is necessary … Continue reading Fitter, happier, more productive…
People feel they understand complex phenomena with far greater precision, coherence, and depth than they really do; they are subject to an illusion - an illusion of explanatory depth.Rozenblit and Keil, 2002 How does a toilet work? I am confident that I have a fairly good idea. If asked, I would rate my confidence at … Continue reading Everyday mechanisms
Over the last 18 months, I have been co-authoring a new book with Becky Allen and Ben White. It is about educational fads. More broadly, it is about why it is so difficult to improve the school system. The time we spent researching and developing our ideas generated far too much content to fit in … Continue reading Can we make our schools anti-fragile?
In 1975, the economist Charles Goodhart wrote: 'Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes'. This claim is often colloquialised as 'When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure'. An example of this is what happened when GP surgeries were given … Continue reading The corruption of curriculum thinking
Most people won't be the slightest bit interested in the debate about generic skills in school leadership which has played out (mostly on social media) in recent years. And why should they? I'm not sure their daily lives will be enhanced by wading into a sometimes murky, often polarised, debate about how leaders become better … Continue reading How to argue with a genericist
For the last 18 months, I have been co-authoring a book with Becky Allen and Ben White. It is called The Next Big Thing in School Improvement. The book is about the perpetual novelty that we experience in education. In the run up to publication, we will be publishing a series of blog posts which … Continue reading The searing memories of the curriculum era
For those who choose to spend time thinking about education, not just doing it, they will immediately stumble across a question: what should I spend time thinking about? This question is taxing me of late for a number of reasons. I have recently finished writing a book. The process of writing requires that you think … Continue reading Which disciplines offer most to education knowledge-building?
For the last 18 months, I have been co-authoring a book with Becky Allen and Ben White. It is called The Next Big Thing in School Improvement. The book is about the perpetual novelty that we experience in education. In the run up to publication, we will be publishing a series of blog posts which … Continue reading Are you ready for the Next Big Thing?