17 November 2015

...'To Do' Lists

To do lists don't work. I certainly don't recall ever getting everything on a to do list actually done.  This is because they don't help us to be more productive, or more efficient in what we do and when we do it.  Instead they serve to stoke anxiety levels by reminding us of how many things we haven't done.  In fact, I'm going to refer to them as haven't done lists from now on.

But they're not what this post it about.  Several years ago I stopped using to do lists for good, in favour of a new way of organising my time, which was as quick, and more effective.  And here it is...

06 November 2015

...Reflective Practice - So What?

This post briefly reviews what reflective practice is, before explaining a relatively simple model which can be used to engage in professional reflection - Borton's Developmental Framework. 

In a nutshell, reflection is a learning tool.  It can help us to learn from our mistakes and to find solutions to problems. With a little more critical thinking thrown in, reflection can enable professionals to better understand their work, build on positives or identify areas for development and, therefore, improve their effectiveness.

16 May 2015

...Knowing About Teaching - Purpose

I'm writing this in my temporary office: room 555 of the Aston Business School, Birmingham. (I've been given a neat little room, with the expected luxuries - tea & coffee, a tiny kettle, tiny soap etc.)  It's the venue for the Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) Annual Conference.  The event is mainly attended by professionals engaged in teacher training and/or development of some kind.  This post is simply the result of my brief reflections on a theme which emerged during the conference... The Purpose of Teaching.
How would you answer, if I asked you about the purpose of teaching?

13 May 2015

...Knowing About Teaching - Professional Update

I'm currently in Birmingham, sitting in a seminar room at Conference Aston, for the Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) Annual Conference.  The conference offers a menu of presentations, workshops, keynote addresses and 'read & review' sessions to delegates.  It is a chance for education professionals to come together and to share and discuss their evidence-based work and research, focussing on teacher training and development.  This post is essentially initial reflection on my time at the TEAN conference...

01 May 2015

...Learning Outside the Classroom

The countdown has begun.  In three weeks' time I'll be packed up and heading off to the Brecon Beacons with a group of trainee teachers from the University of East London.  We will be spending two nights among the mountains, waterfalls and caves.  By day we will be finding out what educational experiences the great outdoors has to offer.

In preparation for my visit I thought I'd draw together my current knowledge and understanding of outdoor education.  And where better to start than the Learning Outside the Classroom manifesto (LOtC) published by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC, of course).

24 March 2015

...Research in Teacher Education [RiTE]

Since 2011 the Sir John Cass School of Education and Communities at the University of East London has been producing the RiTE journal - Research in Teacher Education.  This brief post aims to introduce RiTE, provide some background to the publication, and describe some of its successes.  Please read, share... and consider contributing your work to the publication! 

27 January 2015

...Academic Citation & Referencing

We've adopted the Harvard referencing system at the University of East London (UEL).  It's a system which emphasizes authors' names and publication dates.  It compiles references alphabetically in a single reference list at the end of a piece of work, rather than utilizing footnotes throughout.  An example of its use can be found below.

As might be expected questions and queries come my way regularly, concerning punctuation, syntax and particular conventions.  So I felt a page collating advice and examples might be just what was needed, to help support writers in using the Harvard system consistently. Examples are provided to demonstrate in-text conventions, and how sources should be referred to in a reference list.

23 January 2015

...Meeting A 'New' Class

Looking back over the time I spent working in primary schools one of my strengths was my ability to establish most classes quickly and efficiently.  When called upon to cover lessons or to step into a colleague's shoes I tended to manage it with minimum disruption.  So this post is simply aimed at gaining an understanding of how I might have achieved it, to serve as guidance for teachers in a similar situation - teachers needing to rapidly form positive, productive relationships with a 'new' class of pupils.

18 January 2015

...Student Perspectives on Case Study

Last week my students developed their understanding of case study.  I asked them to do some independent reading and in their taught sessions I provided them with a range of sources which attempted to define the research approach.  They were to identify key themes and characteristics of case study...  I then gave them just ten minutes to create one-minute presentations for their peers.

Here is a sample of the work they produced to support their presentations. (Click on an image to enlarge it.):