teaching matters

A slip slide and cascade of thoughts, reactions, constructions, resources about teaching.   As they tumble and roll around the table I shall sort them and organise them through this page …



Apologia: the spur for publishing my thought and product on teaching.   ‘Apologia’ in the old-fashioned sense of the word of explaining how predicament is bedded-down and how position is quagmired, not in trying desparately to explain or account for … oh, wait – Apologia in both senses of the word.

Assessment for Learning: the Prologue: a pigeon-step development on from the Apologia, floating the idea that (this supposedly recent development in teaching practice) Assessment for Learning is actually a trojan horse for teachers to infiltrate themselves back into their own domain and win back the nobility and resource of their craft of teaching.   It is not an expendible mechanism to be exploited by management to improve ‘productivity’, it is a practice to be nurtured … actually AfL is already not mentioned anymore

Hartley’s Jam: how the politicisaton of teaching ‘professionalism’ (Blair’s ‘education, education, education’ was simply the choral chant to Thatcher’s long-gestated assault on the idea that practitioners know better than those who don’t; Gove is just the inevitable issue of such an unholy coupling of ideology – a little bit simple, there, there, Michael ‘leave him alone, and he’ll come home, waving his tail behind him’) has asphyxiated both the craft and art out of teaching

I think I know why I don’t like teaching, even though I quite like teaching and am quite good at it, even if I do have to say so myself: a focus on the mechanism used in schools to ‘improve standards’ called Professional Development which actually just measures the effective endeavour right out of the job itself, rendering it Absurd …

the Schmuck and the Facilitators: a significant section of the community who have to endure a uniform experience – still, despite all the rhetoric – ready for a uniformly unfair society.   Only now teachers are responsible for their performance.

Now, let’s think this through, shall we?   The clunkish philosophy driving today’s education: c’mon, let’s just calm down before we start doing anything rash, like making changes that can’t be reversed and dismantling things that cannot be put back together … oh, 25 years too late!

The Hothousing of Teaching: no, really!   A continuation from the previous article.   And remember, this has been happening for decades now, with ever accumulating and brazen momentum

Resource: a plea to resolve the false conflating of teaching with: management, performance, productivity and even retail.   Teaching is a craft.   But teaching is still also a profession – not only because of its post-graduate qualification, and certainly not because it is a bureaucracy, but because it is a craft that works with minds … and when given a nice dressing room and bouquet of flowers will produce Art.

Structural Time: the simple and obvious reason why any reform or intiative in education (… in public service) will make noises but it simply won’t run.   You have to spend and you have to train, but you have to spend and train to build up a culture of practice – a culture of vocation – rather than some stupid idea of competition in some stupid race to be first past the post.   Don’t for a moment think that the venerable budget cuts which-we-all-have-to-face-because-of-these-difficult-financial-times CRAP is in any way inevitable.   Structural investment has been a non-starter in education for decades already; governments were simply waiting for an excuse to reduce the money they have to pay to professional workers by inaugurating managerialism-knows-better and paying them (more individually, less overall) instead.

Professionalism … in teaching: making teachers accountable to business/process/outcome criteria is a concerted way to deconstruct their professionalism …

Management and Managerialism: the good, the bad and the ugly … and the teacher!

teaching performance: written even before the madness of Continuing Professional Development (CPD – for which read ‘Compromised Professional Devolution’) really kicked in

Put service back into people rather than productivity: a plea to keep the management of education real … silently and devastatingly ignored as the velvet coup of the new managerialism crept into vogue and power: ‘if you disagree with the way things are done, you must be wrong

teaching: which is it going to be, procedure or nurture?: and the answer is … procedure, while trying to make it look like ‘nurture’ (and be very clear, this was no democratic groundswell that inaugurated business into public service, this was velvet coup); all that has happened is that ‘teaching’ has been redefined as a procedure; you cannot now get any accreditation for what you do unless it is measurable through some pre-defined procedure or other (and unless you can also deliver and guarantee the ‘outcomes’ before they will even look at what you have to offer).   Consequently the art and humanity of communicative and inspirational teaching has atrophied, been made to feel antiquated and is being waited on to retire

The Future of Teaching: performance or capability (‘oh, not ‘teaching’ then?’): towards the end of this year the government has made proposals that Performance Management (through which a teacher is targeted and measured how well they do their job) and Capability Procedures (through which a teacher goes if their work is perceived as inadequate) should be grafted together into one procedure.   


I have had to excise the articles about my career in order to let my heart heal in retirement.



the ‘Lamp’: Assessment for Learning came in the mid-2000s and has now ‘went’ because the managers have now shown that they have embedded it in their schools ready for the next OFSTED.   But they haven’t – they’ve barely scratched the surface – but they have learnt how to tick boxes with it.   Job done.   And so it goes …

something simple to offer: a survey (a panorama) of how working an understanding of cognitive development into the very fibres of teaching makes it come alive from its very core.   Good old Bloom.

the Hierarchy of Knowing: the skeletal structure of teaching is as it is simply because knowledge is ‘integrational’ … ‘the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone …’

the View: from Here to the Learning Objective to the Learning Horizon: …how to launch a ship

the Telescope: Ready.   Set.   Go!   An overview of where the whole lesson is going – unpacking, and packing up, a lesson

constructalesson: building a way through a lesson using the scaffolding of the cognitive hierarchy of learning, the bricks of our own degree, the mortar of our teaching qualification and the architect’s blueprint of our vocation to give and nurture …

Structure & d y n a m i c: the discernment of the structure and performance of a teacher’s job from the craft of its practice – the dynamic

the Apple: from the seed (of a lesson) to the growth of its flesh to the finish of its skin and its digestion … burp!

MARKSBOOKhave a look at this; open it, then do a Save AS onto your own machine.   Beware – it is a complicated bugger in design and initial input, but once you have learnt to ‘drive’ it it is a powerful tool – even if I do say so myself.   If you have queries about it please put them in the ‘comments’ section of this page and I will get back to you through it. …: Mother Book.   I will put together an overview and instructions soon.

performance rather than just sitting on potential: how to begin driving pupil attainment/performance rather than dropping a penny in the well and wishing

are we nearly there yet?: finding your way from A to A


Hinduism course: KSIII: a complete course (should run for a term), run through Powerpoint, designed with stepped-level tasks and self-assessment

the ancient tree: looking back …
just saying, is all I: result-led divided into value-led: don’t go; because it misses out the common denominator – the human art and need of cummunication … listen willya!
just saying, is all III: the more something is reformed (upside down, with gardening gloves on) the more it gets broken; ask any plant
what I am about to say is true / what I just said was a lie: the function of worth in a system which is value-bled


2 thoughts on “teaching matters”

  1. What, you don’t like in-service weeks?


    • luckily I have now retired: I used to love in-service days (we never got weeks!) because then I could create the art of teaching yet further – as I felt it should be – but then, nobody would listen, so I became a ghost


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