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Episode 116: Driller killer

The hosts of insidelearning decide they are not good with calendars and mess up again with dates -our fault.  Edutalk live is next week! Never mind, a stimulating conversation ensues about this week’s news items.

Schools Direct -changes to teacher education.  Links here and here and here.  Plus link to Scotland’s review of teacher education here

Of course the big news is the GCSE reforms: “Michael Gove unveils GCSE reforms” Richard Adams in the Guardian, BBC story: GCSEs: “Gove pledges ‘challenging’ exam changes’ by Sean Coughlan

David Wolfe’s “Can of Worms” blog

“Bring back polytechnics, argues higher education report” By Judith Burns

Emily Duggan in The Independent: “Wave goodbye to another parenting myth: Children whose mothers go out to work do not suffer academically”

Twit Triangulation netcast with Howard Rheingold


Episode 115 Let’s dance!

Sweden’s top free schools provider to close, in blow to Education Secretary Michael Gove”  Lewis Smith writing in the Independent: here

“Phonics test ‘accurate but unnecessary” By Katherine Sellgren

I-levels replace GCSEs: Gove’s great reform or another bemusing move? Warwick Mansell article and Richards Adams article 

Libraries – the end of books as we know it? Paperless public libraries switch to digital By Bill Hicks

Up for a laugh, a head true to his word, Penketh High School Head Teacher Does Psy’s Gangnam Style Dance Video: here


Episode 114: Neurosceptic

Unfortunately, Alison could not join us tonight, held up by work, so we riff through some topics that catch our eye.  The conversation is dominated by the theme of neuromyths and our forlorn hope that learning styles might have been the route to some pedagogical nirvana.  A journey we undertook in good faith, but there’s only so much bad science a teacher can swallow and remain sane.  The story began with the BBC programme “All In the Mind” that opens with an item about how teachers, through the best of intentions, are purveying a number of neuro mythologies.  The programme is still available:

Also mentioned is Frank Coffield et al (2004) literature review on learning styles: here

New curriculum workload story in Scotland as reported by the BBC.  Raises question about how innovation and workload and the poverty of our imagination.

Episode 113: Only fonicking!

Tonight we are joined in conversation by Louisa Hussey, Acting headteacher of Cropwell Bishop Primary School in Nottinghamshire, England.  Louisa  is a brilliant teacher and passionate about her job, as you can tell from the conversation we have about recent developments in English primary schools.  Phonics teaching features and Matthew reminds us about the old ITA and his experience with it – does this explain a lot?

Also, in the news tonight we discuss:

positive discrimination for encouraging more male teachers into the profession proposed by the NASUWT, story in TESS here

Revision tips -what works? Only 2 main methods apparently.  Summary in this blog and full paper can be downloaded here

Episode 112: “superiors inspect inferiors”

Sir Ken Robinson doing one of his engaging TED talks.  Ken Robinson, TED talk: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley




Unfortunately Fearghal is unwell tonight so Matthew and Steve talk through some news stories.  Matthew lays short odds on Steve doing Gove stories, he is not disappointed, and introduces a timer to limit our ramblings.

Does the government really want innovation in free schools? By Rachel Williams in the Guardian

Teachers resistant to CfE’s new thinking, say experts, TES article

Leadership methods ‘stifle innovation’, Keir Bloomer in the TES

Gove’s claims of teenagers’ ignorance harpooned by retired teacher by James Ball, in the Guardian

Jimmy Wales: Boring university lectures ‘are doomed’, by Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

Summer-born pupils ‘should have exam scores boosted’, by Judith Burns BBC News education reporter










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