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Episode 152: Highlighting the need for cheese on toast

thMatthew and I are delighted to be back podcasting after the summer break; although we will now be going Goveless, the Goves are off as we ruminate on recent events in England, such as his impact and events surrounding the so-called Trojan Horse affair.

The conversation resonates with a Scottish story about the exam system and teacher workloads:  “Exam bosses urged to reduce tests in schools” Herald Story

We talk about the pros and cons of Moocs and where all this might lead.  “Moocs, and the man leading the UK’s charge”, Peter Wilby, here

An old, but relevant, story: “Online students can’t help being sociable”, By Sean Coughlan, BBC News education correspondent, here

Matthew invokes the old cheese and toast memories as he highlights the uselessness of highlighters: “Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology” Links to article here,  additional info here, and something about advanced organisers, here

A quick thought about teacher wellbeing: “Teacher wellbeing: how to mentally prepare for a new school year”:  The stress of school life might seem like a distant memory but with a new term approaching psychologist Gail Kinman offers her advice on how to prepare for the melee” Guardian story

Episode 151: Creak a bit for me ….

4446328_1_lSteve returns tonight given it’s  World Cup rest day, but especially as he was missing the cast and wanted to sign off for the summer break in the company of Matthew and ‘regular’ presenter of late, Gillian Campbell-Thow.  Anne and Gillian produced a really good ‘vibe’ on last week’s show, so hopefully we can maintain the standards they set as we discuss various news items and recommend some holiday reading (not an ‘education’ book amongst them).  This podcast carries a rant warning, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously despite sounding as if we do!  Anyway, life goes all pink on us.

Pasi Sahlberg on the GERM infecting education systems.  Links to live presentations here and here and website here

“The rewards of a great personality”, Falkirk schools introduce psychometric testing for pupils in the TESS.

Reimagine society and the life lessons school should teach you.  Matthew shows how hip he is by knowing who Lauren Laverne is, Steve is still none the wiser.

Bill Gates: Eradicating polio easier than fixing U.S. education system.

Ep 150: A parcel of loveliness


Wood st group











Anne Glennie and Gillian Campbell-Thow bring in the big-round-number of episode 150 for us. Inside Learning is very much the richer for the greater proportion of time we have had from our female colleagues, it is worth remembering that Anne Glennie was the first regular guest to challenge us about the testosterone preponderance on Inside Learning; it is great that she is putting her microphone where her mouth is…..oops!

Anne and Gillian unfortunately let out their violent side as they form the pink-baseball-batted paramilitary wing of Inside Learning in defense of a more engaging education for young people with “little parcels of loveliness” to open and close lessons instead of the worrying call to progressive package use in classrooms. Free range and wholemeal education would be safe in these ladies’ hands!

A call for traditional text-books brings a passion for the best of the Curriculum for Excellence out in the girls with a real fear for teachers losing the creativity of real teaching and becoming “monkeys delivering the curriculum”! 

Breaking the poverty link to university education is a particular passion of Gillian’s and this story really resonated with her.

Is it possible that politics would ever influence the political presentation of educational data? Surely not! Gillian spots a very worrying story!

Of course, in amongst the professional passion about us wanting to be self-critical for our own self-improvement there is always some room for something more celebratory about the achievements of the Scottish system on tonight’s all-tartan podcast.

Thanks so much to @Anne Glennie and @SenoraCT for making Inside Learning a better corner of the interwebs!

Ep 149: #Lingomammy

World cup vigil edition number two sees the “sparky” Gillian Campbell-Thow, Scottish Teacher of the Year Join Matthew again to talk about the poverty gap in education and to turn it around to a potential “poverty of aspiration” gap!







The first story is all about a report on Scottish spending on education dropping in real terms but tied into addressing the poverty gap.

And we extend this into some interesting observations on the English Pupil Premium as a way of addressing the Poverty Gap!

Gillian talks about the use of Twitter in her Languages Department to build “family” and to motivate learners.

We noted with sympathy that England’s World Cup team were struggling as we recorded. Commiserations to the fabulous Englishman Steve Rogers and congratulations to the terribly-partisan-about-all-Spanish-speaking -peoples Gillian Campbell-Thow on Uruguay’s win.

Ep 148: Live or die by the STACS sword

Tonight is the opening game of the (Soccer) World Cup. Steve was therefore unable to commit and prioritise appropriately! (The Tour de France would have been understandable)! At short notice, friend of Inside Learning, Gillian Campbell-Thow stepped in to fill Steve’s size 13′s. Thank you for that Gillian.

The “Billster” (@literacy adviser) is jetsetting in Canada and was therefore not available either. One suspects he may have holed up in front of a television screen somewhere too. We almost had languages guru Joe Dale onboard, however, his jet-set lifestyle left him so eye-droopingly knackered that he has had to agree to reschedule:-)

Gillian however won the Teacher of the Year award in Scotland only this week, so a huge Inside Learning congratulations to her!

Gillian 3 (1 of 1)-3

Tonight’s stories included a bit of exciting news about a public-private vocational college/school venture. Both Gillian and Matthew were fairly excited by this approach and were guardedly optimistic about its potential. Not enough language teaching however says Mrs Campbell-Thow as an understandable knee-jerk. Matthew even revealed that he would be attracted to working there!

No-notice inspections as proposed by Michael Wiltshire were discussed and broadly welcomed by this jury of two!

Gillian then got all international and tolerant about dear Michael Gove’s attempt to Canonise “British Values” whatever they actually are in the wake of the political fallout from Trojan-Horsegate!

Matthew was intrigued by this opinion piece about the challenge for Head-Teacher autonomy by Russell Hobby, Brian Lightman and Steve Munby.


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