One of my main interests is teacher education and continuing professional development, particularly the role played by teacher knowledge within that. I am interested in teacher subject knowledge, and in particular the way in which a teacher uses their academic discipline. I have written a wide variety of posts on this topic addressing the knowledge-base of expert teachers (including mentors) as well as the kinds of knowledge that new entrants to the profession might be expected to learn.
A few years ago, a number of myths emerged in school inspections. These myths included things such as ‘inspectors expect a certain style of teaching’, ‘inspectors want [...]
A general reading list for new (and not so new) history teachers
I have spent some time today putting together a list of books that I would recommend to people about to start training as history teachers. In particular, I wanted to [...]
Are the Teachers’ Standards fit for purpose?
I must begin on a positive. The whole profession has been crying out for years that the training period teachers have is not sufficient – indeed, one of my very first blog [...]
Who is best at communicating research to teachers?
Teachers have famously found little use for educational research. I think this is for three principal reasons. First, they have been stung too many times in the past, having [...]
Pupil-led enquiry: the reading problem
It is widely known (and I think accepted?) that a person’s ability to comprehend something they read is closely tied to their prior knowledge of that subject. This creates [...]
Should teachers choose to learn a particular teaching style?
I have recently been reading Doug Lemov’s various works on teaching teachers. The books and videos will be familiar to many and, although some of the Americanisms jar on my [...]
Five academic papers all teachers need to read
This blog post is a quick summary of five of the academic papers that have most influenced me in my development as a teacher, and I would heartily recommend all five to other [...]
On not losing the ‘what’ in the ‘how’
I followed an interesting discussion on Twitter this week where David Didau lampooned a resource given to @MissNQT at a NQT training event. The resource advocated a variety [...]
On nurturing a mentor community
By Christine Counsell This post is a comment copied from the previous post that Christine Counsell and Michael Fordham co-wrote. The comment was written by Christine in [...]
Developing trainee teacher knowledge: the Cambridge History PGCE model
By Michael Fordham and Christine Counsell The recent Carter Review has raised a number of questions about teacher training, and one of these is how to ensure that, on a [...]
Ofsted: the problem of the ignorant inspector
My argument in this post is that Ofsted inspectors who are not specialists in a subject are poorly placed to make judgements about whether progress is being made by pupils in [...]
What does an expert teacher need to know?
In my last post I suggested that teaching needs to be understood as being derivative of a particular subject specialism. I argued that ‘teaching’ – like ‘research’ [...]
Teaching and subject expertise: let’s not fall for genericism again
I have a great deal of respect for those currently pushing ‘grass-root’ teacher movements, such as ResearchEd and the College of Teaching. I’m very excited to have [...]
Doing a Masters in Education Part 2: getting your disciplinary framing clear
In my last post I wrote about how I think the terms ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ are fairly useless for describing research: at best, they might describe methods [...]
Doing a Masters in Education Part 1: ditching the terms ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’
Although I failed to make it to ResearchED for a second year in a row (next year, I hope…) I did enjoy following the sessions online. One session I found a bit troubling, [...]
90% of teacher training should be subject-specific
Initial teacher training (or education) is currently under review, and one of the issues being raised is the extent to which teacher training does enough to develop teacher [...]
Teach Now! History: a review
It is always exciting when a new book comes out on history teaching, and I was therefore keen to get my hands on a copy of Mike Gershon’s new book Teach Now! History, part [...]