Knowledge and curriculum
A curriculum sets out what pupils ought to learn, and there is thus a fundamental connection between knowledge and curriculum. Most of my posts on this blog have focused on the nature of academic knowledge, why this is central to school curricula, and how this knowledge might be structured within a curriculum model.
Debates about pedagogy are particularly heated at the moment, and one does not need to look hard to find a point of view. Should children be taught via direct instruction? [...]
Are there short-cuts to creating critical readers?
Daniel Willingham recently shared a piece of research by a group at Stanford led by Sam Wineburg. Wineburg’s work is well-known in the history education community, and has [...]
Have recent government reforms improved the lot of history in schools?
Around 2010, the history education community had a fairly cohesive view on what was wrong with history in schools. Pretty much everyone agreed that history did not get enough [...]
Another poorly-conceived EEF study?
Today the EEF published a long-term study looking at the relationship between structured teacher observation and pupil outcomes at GCSE in maths and English. This interested [...]
The tyranny of command verbs
I have written before about why I find generic taxonomies of verbs so depressing. Not only are words such as ‘analyse’ or ‘describe’ vague, but they are also [...]
Substantive Concepts at KS2 & KS3
A while ago I ran a small online project to bring together a list of substantive concepts that we think children ought to learn in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Ashby and Lee [...]
Decoupling summative and formative assessment
The following post is my seminar notes from a session I ran with Christine Counsell on why ‘summative’ and ‘formative’ assessment need to be [...]
Resisting the pull of the generic: knowledge, specificity and teaching
This is a talk I gave to new trainees on the Future Academies SCITT in July 2017. It is a real pleasure to be invited to speak here today at Pimlico to a new cohort of [...]
Subject knowledge and mentoring: my talk at Teach First
I am delighted to be here this afternoon to talk to this audience. My talk this afternoon proceeds in three stages. The problem of generic approaches to teacher education, [...]
Knowledge as the currency of teaching
In my last post I argued that skill cannot be taught, by which I meant that skill cannot be taught directly. Instead, I argued that knowledge is what is taught, and that [...]
Skills cannot be taught. Discuss.
Recent government rhetoric would seem to suggest that skills are back on the agenda. For some years now, the emphasis in the education debate has been on knowledge, and, at [...]
Should pupils be given choice over what they study?
Economic liberalism has long exalted the role played by markets, and the notion of consumer choice sits at the heart of this idea. If I want to buy a new computer, I can [...]
What sorts of substantive knowledge are needed to get better at history?
As I set out in my last post, substantive knowledge concerns knowledge of the past, and in history curriculum theory can generally be seen as the counterpart of disciplinary [...]
Types of knowledge in a history curriculum
In my previous post I focused on ability statements (which take the form “pupils can x”) and argued that it is problematical to incorporate these into progression models [...]
The problem with general ability statements in history education
Progression models are frequently constructed from ‘ability’ statements. Put simply, if you have an ability, it means you can do something. It is therefore quite [...]
The curriculum as progression model
What does it mean to get better at history? One of the problems we have in answering this question is that history is an incredibly diverse discipline: there are thousands of [...]
Should progression in history be modelled hierarchically?
I argued in my previous post that existing models of ‘getting better’ at history have tended (a) to look for generic features of historical practice and (b) to break [...]