Up until a year ago I was a History teacher, a job I adored. I know this is preaching to the converted, but working with teenagers is just the most interesting, funny and challenging way to spend your time,and I absolutely loved it. However (and I doubt this is particularly surprising to anyone reading), I had grown increasingly frustrated with our system of education.
Every day we learn more about the brain. While psychologists develop ever more sophisticated models of how we think, neuroscientists are mapping the physical and chemical architecture that underpins these thoughts. Is it possible we may finally have some real insights into how our students learn rather than well researched guess work? It is still early days but young teachers today may see the biggest intellectual sea change in education since Binet’s IQ test in 1911 and Piaget’s theories in 1920. This article summarises a few useful ideas to work on in the meantime!
Last term I decided over breakfast that I needed to do something to make my Year 7 scheme of work on celebrations start off on a more interesting note. I concluded that simply greeting my class at the door and saying “we’re going to be studying religious and non-religious celebrations for the next six lessons” didn’t truly seem to grab my audience, and so I went about thinking of a more interesting way to introduce the topic. By the time I had arrived at school I had decided on a way to ‘parachute’ my students into an engaging lesson. I grabbed myself two student volunteers on the way into the building (whom I bribed with the promise of Maltesers...) to help set up my classroom.
Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy (OBA), a school for 11 - 18 year olds situated in Runcorn, has been singled out by Ofsted as a fine example. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Cheshire-based Academy works with “disadvantaged” pupils to bring the best education possible to the area. Ofsted will be sharing their findings of the OBA inspection with schools across the UK.
When James [Cain, Editor] contacted me and asked me to write a blog post about how I use Star Wars in the classroom, my first reaction went from, “this is awesome” to “uh… what am I going to write about?”. You see, I am an Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher in Rocklin, CA, and although my classroom is littered with posters, toys and miscellaneous Star Wars gifts from students throughout the years, I questioned if I was qualified to write a post about Star Wars and my teaching.
Collaborative learning is on the up. All around us there are blog posts from excellent teachers, research from expert academics and articles from around the world, but so far something has been missing. We know the benefits of true collaboration and ideas on how to encourage it in the classroom, but do we know how we can assess the tasks themselves? Setting the right task is key for encouraging effective collaborative learning.
Different kinds of learners require different methods of teaching. Here, Educare founder and director Keir McDonald discusses how teachers can use different e-learning programs to accommodate all pupils.
For years now, the topic of learning styles has dominated educational community forums. And while understanding the manner in which students best receive and retain information can be complex, the bottom line is that understanding how individual children learn can help educators reduce frustration and improve overall achievement.