Tag Archives: teaching and learning

#100wordTandL Musiccam⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

This is a music specific post but can be adapted for your own context. Pupil and lesson observation feedback this term have highlighted the use of a simple webcam as a useful tool to aid learning. As a music teacher I find it very quick and easy to use the webcam over the piano to […]

Royal Society of Edinburgh on Education in Scotland⤴

from @ JDMcDsblog

The Royal Society remains concerned at the lack of evaluation of Curriculum for Excellence. In it briefing notes, December 2014 it says,

“The absence of a systematic programme of independent evaluation of CfE has been a long-standing and key concern of the RSE Education

Committee, and that, ” high quality evaluation of CfE must relate to the aims of the reforms and the criticisms to which the reforms have been subjected.

It should seek to identifywhat is different about CfE and consider the extent towhich the distinctive and innovative features of the reforms are being reflected

in classroom practice.”

Professor Sally Brown goes on to observe that, ”

The RSE has been particularly concerned about the lack of a systematic strategy for development and implementation of CfE. Such a strategy would be expected to cover the identification of strategic goals, design and planning of the reforms; pilot work to test alternative courses of action; and independent evaluation. CfE has suffered profoundly from a lack of pilot trials and independent evaluation. In our view, problems have tended to be dealt with in isolation, with many different groups having been formed to give advice on particular aspects of the developments. This has made it very difficult to manage the system as a whole, and has, we believe, been the major cause of increased teacher workload.




“Times Educational Supplement” -Four Ways of Learning⤴

from @ JDMcDsblog

Good piece in the Times Educational Supplement by Mike Gershon proving an overview of four different theories of learning, paraphrased as:

1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

  • Physiological needs such as food, water and sleep;
  • Safety needs: protection from violence and harm;
  • Needs for love, affection and belonging;
  • Needs for esteem; and
  • needs for self-actualisation (fulfilling potential).


2. Bruner’s scaffolding

  • Modelling
  • Giving advice
  • Providing coaching

3. Vygotsky’s proximal development

  • Assess where pupils are in terms of independent capabilities.
  • Create open tasks that can be accessed on a number of levels.
  • Build different levels of challenge into each section of your lesson.
  • Track pupils’ targets in the front of their books.
  • Identify particular groups of pupils to work with one-to-one, according to their ZPD.

4. Dewey’s experience and interaction

  • Get out of the classroom.
  • Use discussion.
  • Give pupils opportunities to be independent and to make decisions.

Special needs are a special case⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

I came across a great blog post, courtesy of my twitter PLN this afternoon, which has really had me thinking. The writer, Jarlath O’Brien makes a passionate and convincing case for non inclusive education – specifically, special needs schools. I try to avoid writing about this subject, as its very close to home. My son (now […]

Quintillian, A Roman writer on education⤴

from @ JDMcDsblog

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. 35 – c. 100) was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. Th eonly surving work is his twelve-volume textbook on rhetoric entitled Institutio Oratoria, published around AD 95. This work deals with the theory and practice of rhetoric, and also with the foundational education and development, providing advice that ran from the cradle to the grave. Quintilian believed that the teacher was one of the most important elements in a child’s life, stating that he (and it was always a he)should be one of good character, with the following qualities:

” Let him be strict, but not grim, and friendly but not too relaxed as to incur neither hatred nor contempt; he should talk a great deal about what is good and honourable; the more often he has admonished his pupils, the more rarely will he need to punish them; he must not be given to anger, but he must not turn a blind eye to things that need correction; he must be straightforward in his teaching, willing to work, persistent but not obsessive; must answer questions readily and put questions to himself to those who do not ask any; in praising his pupils’ performances he must neither grudging nor fulsome (the one produces dislike of the work, the other complacency); in correcting faults, he must not be biting, and certainly not abusive for many have been driven away from learning because some teachers rebuke pupils as though they hate them”


Teachers should be well learned in a variety of subjects and capable of higher reasoning, otherwise pupils won’t be able to learn materially properly or in depth:

“the unlearned teacher may well approve faulty work and force his pupils to like it because of his own judgment..it is “a virtue in a teacher that he should carefully observe the differences in the abilities of the pupils whose education he has undertaken, and understand the direction to which their various talents incline”"

The major duty of the teacher is to establish the right course at the start than to rescue a pupil from errors into which he has already fallen.

His method was for the teacher is to give a broad outline of the material and ask the students give their own version of the material after presentation. The two versions would be combined in a kind of synthesis.  Anticipating the concept of scaffolding, he recommended that younger pupils should receive the “material pre-digested” while after they have successfully completed the beginning tasks, the teacher can then provide them with further freedom. If they do not, and commit further mistakes, Quintilian advised that the pupils must then “be brought back under his guidance”

One of the more important traits in teaching involves assortment of subject matter according to Quintilian, explaining that “variety refreshes and restores the mind”. He emphasized the “Study depends on the will to learn, and this cannot be forced. It is important to keep a fresh curriculum and provide the students with a multitude of subjects to learn.

Reading, writing and speaking were considered by Quintilian to be the most important functions of the pupil. When learning the letters of the alphabet, Quintilian believed that learning the shapes of the letters along with the pronunciation and succession was important. Following the basic reading, writing and speaking portion, pupils would then be schooled in grammatici which was “the subject comprised of two parts: the study of correct speech and the interpretation of the poets”

The study of grammatici was extremely important  because “the principles of writing are closely connected with those of speaking, correct reading is a prerequisite of interpretation, and judgment involved in all these”. Pupil should be well versed in poetry, history and philosophy and the subject matter of the readings was to contain moral undertones and be
substantial models for exemplary morals:

“These tender minds, which will be deeply affected by whatever is impressed upon them in their untrained ignorance, should learn not only eloquent passages, but, even more, passages which are morally improving

Following his arguments on basic education, Quintilian set out the curriculum for the future orator which dealt with every higher skills such as interpreting narrative, court room appearance, knowledge of ‘cases’ and examples all to be used when both giving a speech or arguing/pleading a case. Quintilian explained his philosophy on the curriculum in his twelve books, which he intended to supply the orator with a guide to lifelong learning and provide those teaching the art of rhetoric a template to follow.

On Doing What Makes Me Happy – Co-operative Learning – Values and Practice⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

“Happiness is when what you think, what say and what you do are in harmony.”  (Mahatma Ghandi) Co-operative learning makes me feel happy.  It also makes me feel perplexed and challenged but this discomfort is worth it, most of the time.  The thing that makes me happy about co-operative learning is the interaction between the […]

#Flashbulb Memory by @TeacherToolkit⤴


How good is your memory? How much can you recall from your own schooling and can you think why this has stuck with you? Context: As I get to grips with writing my second book, I have been increasing the breadth and depth of my own research and re-thinking how memory can all be applied … Okumaya devam et

#BeyondLessonGrades by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner⤴


It may be that 2014 will be seen as a pivotal year in changing how we judge the quality of teaching.  The move from grading individual lessons to viewing teaching, students’ work and progress over time and in a more sophisticated way has only just begun.  If we are serious about having a world-class education … Okumaya devam et

Defunct? The role of observations at interview by @TeacherToolkit⤴


I have a bee in my bonnet and a professional-personal dilemma that I’d like to share with my readers. Context: *Disclaimer: This blog is not discussing job descriptions or candidate specifications. It is a challenge regarding the nature of one-off lesson observations used as part of the teacher-interview process for new appointments. It also makes … Okumaya devam et