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Showing posts from January, 2014

The danger of ‘core knowledge.’ Have teachers lost the ability to be ‘curriculum makers?’

Have you noticed that some teachers are becoming unable to think for themselves?  It’s a trend in the Twitterverse and blogs and CPD events and staffrooms.  You know the call: ‘But the new National Curriculum / GCSE specification doesn’t mention climate change, so how can we teach it?’  The trouble is, as I see it, that teachers have become used to the spoon feeding provided by the National Curriculum and publishing companies.  If we aren’t told to teach it, then we can’t teach it.  We comply, understandably, to meet the current trends in what we should be teaching. In addition, there’s a real danger that the curriculum in schools will become fossilised if we, as a profession, don’t think outside of the documents and texts produced.  This isn’t an attack on knowledge.  Knowledge should underpin teaching and learning.  I’m also not anti publishers, I write resources and textbooks so that would be mental.  The problem is that I wonder if teachers are too worried about moaning about t

#nurture1314 : 2013 the year I stopped being an habitual underachiever. 2014, the year to remind myself that I was once the trouble-maker-at-large.

I was privileged to listen to Sally Gunnel, an Olympic Champion, speak at my school shortly before the Christmas break.  She spoke about the importance of setting goals and receiving feedback.  Even when she had obtained the pinnacle of her sport, she spoke about setting the goal to hold both Olympic and world titles at the same time.  I don’t pretend for one minute to put myself in the same league as Olympians, but teaching is a very cyclical job. It may not be every four years but we rev up and reach a crescendo in an annual cycle, and then set more goals.  For me, that’s what writing a reflection about the year is all about.  Setting goals and looking back.  After all, if we don;t know what we are good at, how can we continue? I’ve enjoyed many of the #nurture1314 posts so far.  This one is going to be nowhere near as inspiring or heartfelt!  If you’re bored, you can always skip to the music and look at the images. I’m always surprised and chuffed when I receive a comment, tweet o

I’m not making my first post of 2014 about work, so here’s one about running.

I’ve been running now since January 2012.  Whilst some say I started because I was living with my in-laws during the house buying process, it was a decision to get healthy and do something positive. I’m sure I’ll get around to writing about the serious stuff later, I am determined to complete a #nurture1314 post, but that feels a bit wrong at the moment as a) I feel like a fraud spouting off about education and b) the time over the holidays and on the track has demonstrated that there are more important things in life.  So, in 2014 I will blog a bit more about the other stuff in my life.  This post highlights why I run and sets some goals for 2014. They are here because this blog is mainly for me, and setting public goals is a way to carry on the drive. This thing is, running has changed the way I approach work for the better.  It gives me guaranteed reflection time.  In 2013 I completed the Brighton Marathon, around 4 Half Marathons, a couple of 10 milers, my first mountain m