A modest proposal from a language teacher: let's stop using b*llocks learning outcomes

Any discussion among teachers about good practice will get around, at some point, to learning outcomes. Conversation will often turn to Bloom's Taxonomy and the attendant verbs connected to the "lower" and "higher" order "thinking skills". And then someone will raise the idea of SMART targets, which, in conjunction with Bloom's, enable us to develo...
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It’s easy to get lost in the anxieties and meaningless goals as a teacher, but the tiny everyday kindnesses make the job

​He was a kid I'd barely noticed. I'd been teaching the class for just a few weeks and, as is always the case, certain heads had raised themselves above the parapet: the defaulters, the jokers, the forgetful and the attention-seekers. But this lad had been quietly going about his own business. He always gets the work done; he rarely forgets to...
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Memorising facts isn't enough. But metacognition can change students' approach to learning

I am a big believer in using researched and proven learning strategies to improve retention of classroom material. I have applied strategies in my high school advanced placement psychology classes and have seen notable improvements in test scores, study habits and students' understanding of their learning. Improvement in test scores is importa...
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It's the final lesson of term. Let the fun begin...

Schools up and down the country are moving into the final week of term. It's hot. Half the kids are out on rewards trips. It's tempting to loosen the reins and capitulate to shrill demands for 'a fun lesson.' Don't. You'll regret it. "Hi Sir! It's the last day of term! Can we have a fun lesson?" "You have worked hard this term and I do want you to ...
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Too many school governors just don’t put the effort in

"Can we make these reports a bit shorter? I didn't read it."  Carol, a recent addition to our governing board, peered expectantly at the chair while the rest of us looked something between aghast and infuriated. The chair faltered in surprise while Mr Frank, the careers advice lead – who had spent hours of his own time writing the report, on e...
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