A curriculum can sometimes seem like one damn thing after another, especially if taught in blocks or thought of as a journey connecting different topics as you go from A to Y with Z being an exam. In an A level course with a syllabus demanding certain topics be studied, end of term exams, a … More Organising Knowledge: On Triangles and Ts and Russian Dolls.
It’s what you do, not how you label it that matters. What is the difference between ‘disciplinary’ and ‘substantive’ knowledge and what other ways might there be of organising knowledge? In this excellent article Christine Counsell explains that: “Substantive knowledge is the content that teachers teach as established fact – whether common convention, concept or … More Ofsted and Knowledge.
Knowledge organisers are gathering momentum in a number of schools. This is a good thing. Some people have misgivings about their reductive nature but many can see how they assist pupils in getting to grips with basic subject matter and being able to memorise key bits of information. There are many different designs of knowledge … More A Knowledge Organiser and the Trivium
In these days of very little time or space on a timetable it is still heartening to know that some schools are trying to make a space where children can be taught in a way that celebrates education for its own sake. Paradoxically this approach might have benefits beyond education, as Stefan Collini puts it: … More History of Thought
I think the three ‘Rs’ of Reading wRiting and aRithmetic should be expanded to the four Rs and include Rhetoric or oRacy, in other words: talk should be an essential core component of a good education. Schools should do their utmost to ensure children read well, write well, do their sums well and talk well. … More Classroom Talk, Some Thoughts on the EEF Report…
Late last year I had a long conversation with Peter Hyman in which we looked at areas of agreement in our education philosophies and areas where we disagree. This conversation took place within the walls of Windsor Castle, a most un-revolutionary backdrop, steeped in history, a place beautifully unencumbered by 21st Century thinking, unless you count the aeroplanes … More School 21, A ‘Conversation’ With Peter Hyman.
In his book, Why Knowledge Matters, ED Hirsch Jr. writes that: Teacher effectiveness is contextual At first sight this seems completely commonsensical and, indeed it is in theory. It is just in practice where too many involved in education undermine this simple adage. Hirsch goes on to say: We are blaming teachers because of our … More The Scapegoating of Teachers
ED Hirsch Jr.’s new book ‘Why Knowledge Matters’ is a good read. It covers some old ground, focuses on areas in which his mind has changed and clarifies others in the light of experience and research. I am pleased to see, in his acknowledgements, that we share some similar philosophical interests, especially Husserl, Hegel and … More Why Knowledge Matters by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
Shakespeare’s Trivium, ‘The whining schoolboy …creeping like snail unwillingly to school’ It is not too hard to see Shakespeare in the schoolboy creeping snail-like to school – but thank goodness he didn’t play truant. The education he received at Stratford Grammar School is reflected in his plays. The aim of the school would have been … More Shakespeare’s Schooling