Why do you come here, and why do you stick around? Morrissey, Suedehead Why do ideas stick around? For the past couple of years or so, I've spent a great deal of time asking the opposite, preoccupied with the faddishness of educational change. In our book on the subject, we chose to portray this through … Continue reading Immutable: Why exams are here to stay.
Find me someone who wishes to have no influence in the world. Whether it be influence over their children's development, influence over who is elected to hold office, or influence over preventing environmental disaster, we long for influence; to be able to bend the course of events towards our will. And what is this wish … Continue reading Influence
Welcome to the team!
I have had the privilege of appointing two new members of my senior team in recent weeks. What does a headteacher tell you before you start the job? Well, this is my opening gambit which I share by way of providing an insight into how you might start to induct a new senior leader. It … Continue reading Welcome to the team!
Is this the best bet for improving educational leadership?
When it comes to helping school leaders get better at their jobs, there are no silver bullets. But there may be best bets. I'm constantly on the lookout for these best bets because, as a headteacher, one of my fundamental roles is to make those around me more effective. But in what direction do I … Continue reading Is this the best bet for improving educational leadership?
We protect our little fictions, like it's all we are.Little Fictions, Elbow The phrase 'inconvenient truth' has become synonymous with climate change, thanks to the film which documented American Vice President Al Gore's attempts to raise awareness of global warming. An inconvenient truth is a truth we would rather not acknowledge, but must do so … Continue reading Convenient fictions
We move through the world in a narrow groove, preoccupied with the petty things we see and hear...Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple If there is a difference between the expert and he who is merely experienced, that difference is what is remembered as each passes through the world. Those destined to be an eternal … Continue reading Expert memories
How do we respond to high stakes testing?
How far are you willing to go to secure better exam results for your students? I've been reading around the topic of educational assessment over half term. One of the points of agreement between most people writing on the subject is about the purpose of assessment which, they argue, is to enable the assessor to … Continue reading How do we respond to high stakes testing?
To wish impossible things
I have been enjoying #classicblogsweek on Twitter over this half term break. The democratic free-for-all selection process has resulted in an eclectic mix of pivotal polemics, personal favourites, and anti-orthodox rhetoric. What is noticeable is that so many either critique existing school practices or set out how things should be. They are of the critical … Continue reading To wish impossible things
Every conversation is an opportunity to find out we’re wrong
Reading research papers has become somewhat of a pastime for me since I wrote my first book in 2019. Throughout the previous decade, I had become increasingly interested in educational research, progressing from the gateway drug of John Hattie, through to engaging with bloggers who were into 'evidence-based practice', and ending up getting my kicks … Continue reading Every conversation is an opportunity to find out we’re wrong
A short post about rules-of-thumb
One of the best pieces of advice I have received within any particular domain of practice relates to chess. The advice was to 'dominate the centre of the board'. This advice immediately changed my game and success rate. As a rule-of-thumb, it is neither profound, perfect, optimal, or universally helpful. But it is a heuristic … Continue reading A short post about rules-of-thumb