EdBlogs

Welcome to EdBlogs, where you'll find education insights, analysis and stories from the frontline. If you've got a story to tell, send it over to ed@edcentral.uk and if we think it's relevant to our network we'll publish it :-)

Being a teaching assistant has made me feel more alive than ever – and even more determined to become a teacher

"Frankly, I question your sanity going into teaching," a former boss said, in response to my request for a reference for my part-time PGCE application. I can't say I blame him. On my first day as teaching assistant (TA) at a local primary school (a job I have taken to complement my PGCE and bring in a little cash) I encountered two news reports abo...
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Assessment isn’t the big, bad wolf of education – our perception of it is the problem

In the current education debate, I believe assessment is unfairly judged. It is easy fodder for persecution because it is misunderstood and often carries negative connotations with students, teachers, parents and the administration. Part of the problem – and I'm not sure how it happened – is that many people have come to think of assessment and tes...
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An introduction to the economics of school choice

Spurred by perceived inefficiencies in centralised education systems, school choice has in the past decades gone from a mostly fringe academic theory to a mainstream policy option worldwide. The idea is that the expansion of choice – through, for example, open enrolment and private-school vouchers – will increase market incentives in the school sys...
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A practical approach to tackling pupil absences

Talking at a number of conferences recently I've suggested that we've got to stop reinventing the wheel and use research wisely. Research provides signposts towards what might work for us, based on what has worked elsewhere and to what extent. The following suggestion, improving attendance by using simple letters home with key information,&nbs...
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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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