Anthecology: Lesson Study Journals

My only previous exposure to teachers carrying-out research in their own school was Sandringham School’s Sandagogy site and the Sandringham Learning Journals therein. That was until I chanced upon the Samuel Whitbread Academy’s Anthecology (no, me neither) and while it may be entirely coincidental that both are Academies, I’m guessing it’s probably not. Which, if […]

The A-level Gender Gap: A Visual Tool

Although I’ve posted before about the gender gap in subject choice, the focus has largely been on explanations for the gap in various broad subject strands (see, for example, Archer 2013). While this type of analysis is, of course, vital, what sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to explain is data that actually allows students […]

Creating Curious Presentations: the medium is not the message

It’s probably fair to say that when it comes to PowerPoint Presentations the crowd is divided: On the one hand it can be a very powerful teaching tool with a relatively low learning curve that makes it easy to pick up and produce Presentations without having to wade through pages of instructions or endless “How […]

Podcast: The Social Breakdown

Podcasts, as you may have noticed, have become something of “A Teaching Thing” over the past few years, partly as the technology to create them has become increasingly simple and accessible and partly because they can be an interesting way to get information across to students in a relatively chatty, informal, kind of way. As […]

Student Standby’s: Transferable Concepts and Transgressive Thinking

The idea of a Student Standby can be best-expressed as a tip, trick or technique that can be used to generate ideas and information quickly and efficiently, particularly but not exclusively in time-pressured situations such as an exam. One such Standby I’ve posted about previously is the transferrable concept – a key idea students can […]

If It’s Important, Then I’m Curious

As you may or may not appreciate, I’m a firm believer in two basic things: 1. There is no “secret formula” to helping students reach their full academic potential (despite what various forms of magical thinking – both analogue and, more-recently, digital – might claim). 2. If you’re able to stimulate a student’s curiosity in […]

Scaffolding for Students

The idea of “scaffolding” – providing some kind of tangible support for students when they are asked to learn something new, as opposed to simply “throwing stuff out there” and trusting that they get it – is normally traced to the work of psychologist Jerome Bruner in the mid-1970s and his social interactionist argument, familiar […]

Rules of the Exam Game

One of the things that can be difficult to get students to grasp is the importance of exam technique: the idea that what they achieve in their final exam is not just a function of what they know but also of how they express what they know. Exams, in short, are a social process governed […]

GCSE Sociology: Debate Kits

One of the Good Things about Teaching (and, indeed, Learning) Sociology is that it offers up plentiful opportunities for classroom discussion in ways that can be a hugely-beneficial teaching and learning experience. A main downside to building discussions into your lesson plan is, of course, that without a strong structure designed to get students to […]

Foucault and Introducing Sociology?

I always found giving students an “Introduction to Sociology” – whether as part of a recruitment or induction process, first lesson or whatever – something of a chore because it was difficult to: a. Sum-up Sociology in a short, pithy-yet-evocative sentence or two. b. Build on the description I offered to get students to reflect […]