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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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'Aim for a soft landing' – how to survive the final weeks of the summer term

In an ideal world, the final stretch before the summer holidays would be a gradual, relaxing wind down. In reality, it can feel more like a panicked sprint – or an agonising crawl – to the finish line. The days of sticking on a DVD and being done with it are (largely) over, but there are still ways to lighten the load as the final day approaches.We...
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Focus on ... Professor Robert Coe and the importance of evidence-based education

A small group of UK educational researchers have been trying to promote 'evidence-based' education for some time. With the establishment of ResearchED and the Educational Endowment Foundation - and its teacher-oriented toolkit reviewing the relative cost and benefit of different interventions - research informed practice is now firmly on the politi...
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Prevent: a brief guide to the policy, your school's duty and resources for teachers

When three East London schoolgirls fled Britain to join Islamic State in Syria in February 2015, the education world was forced to ask itself some difficult questions. The government's counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent, had been in place since 2011, but many teachers and school leaders found the guidance vague and hard to enforce.It's better unde...
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Foxes vs hedgehogs: 7 evidence-based leadership tips for headteachers

Is your school full of hedgehogs or foxes? Hedgehogs are people who are committed to certain ideas, and will stick with them even when they've been shown to fail. Foxes are people know lots about everything, but not everything about anything – they are pragmatic, prone to self-doubt and willing to admit when they are wrong.In his 2005 study Expert ...
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