Inside Learning » The Learning Podcast

Masthead header

Episode 144: Matthew’s Missing Pun

thInsidelearning returns after the Easter break.  Matthew is obviously ring rusty as he stumbles over a golden punning opportunity.  Meanwhile we discuss the recent education news.  Overshadowed by the tragedy of the murder of teacher Ann Maguire in a Leeds school.

We discuss the the rise in mobile platforms and Google’s entry into the education app market, with their promise not to read user e-mails and target advertising at them. HERE

On the back of a report by David Blunkett, the Labour party pull together some plans for school reform.  This includes the establishment of local Directors of School Standards.  HERE

Blue Engine – an social enterprise innovation supporting disadvantaged young people into, and through college HERE  & HERE  & HERE  A story that provided us both with an opportunity to stumble over the word philanthropy.

Matthew finishes with a rant about the banality of the “My Best Teacher’ column in the TESS, not really the most earth-shaking story but always good to start a new season with some ranting.

Episode 143: Learning in a Flatland

th“Dear Mr Gove” by Jess Green – you must watch this!

A relaxed chat through our education week and news we picked up on.  Some important stories that lead us in unexpected directions, while no eye is kept on the clock at all.  Hey ho, when you have stuff to think about…..

News links:  Richard Adams, Education Editor, Guardian “Head of OFSTED calls for Early Years Shakeup” links here and here 

Bill draws the lessons out of “A Search for Scotland” by R. F. Mackenzie

“If the cuts keep coming …” .This TESS story gets us talking

Some holiday reading we thought about:

“The Living Mountain” by Nan Shepherd

“Annurpa”, Maurice Herzog

“Clouds Both Sides”, Julie Tullis

“Let My People Go Surfing” Yvon Chuinard

‘Great by Choice’: Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen on Excelling in Uncertain Times, Part One

Episode 142: You Can Call Me Hal

220px-HAL9000.svgMatthew and Steve chat about some of the latest news in education, beginning with a musing on how e-mails have changed our working lives – not necessarily for the better. (Hello Hal? Do you read me HAL?)

The possibilities of on-line technology for supporting learning are discussed in the story about “Learning analytics don’t just measure students’ progress – they can shape it” by Rebecca Ferguson in the Guardian

(Affirmative Dave, I read you)   Links to other news stories:

School Report: Gove says teachers deserve more pay

“Schools will be allowed to test four-year-olds from 2016, government confirms” by Richard Adams, Education Editor, Guardian

Scottish Borders Council approves ‘asymmetric’ school week

(I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that).

“Let values live and breathe” by Don Ledingham in the TES

(Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye).

Episode 141: The Geography of French

We were very sad to hear about the death of Bev Evans, educationalist, artist and campaigner for special education, from South Wales, who guested on a few of our podcasts. A wonderful person who will be sorely missed.  Our condolences to family and friends.

Matthew and Steve pick up some themes from last week sparked off by the soul-searching into the progress ofthCurriculum for Excellence and draw some comparisons with the situation in England.  We talk, with some difficulty, about complex issues around class, culture and schooling and the increased marketisation and potential privatisation of schools in England.  A new TUC Report makes interesting, if depressing reading about the trends and the amount of money going into private hands.  Croneyism in who gets what contracts seems to feature.  A government transfer of funds at huge cost to the taxpayers with little perceived difference in standards and an undermining of local democracy.

Image by Ian Stevenson (

TUC Education Not For Sale

“After the dust settles…” Larry Flanagan

Teachers: life inside the exam factory John Harris Guardian with reply from Elisabeth Truss MP  (scroll to bottom of story)

“Can Catholic values create better schools?” TESS story and Religious education ‘helps communities get along’

DfE bars 14 academy chains from taking on more schools By Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph Education Editor

Have a laugh with the News Quiz



EduCoverThumb6-212x300Tonight Steve loses the insidelearning jingle and plays you in with something celestial.  Bill and Steve focus on a new report written by Professor Brian Boyd on behalf of the Jimmy Reid foundation. While the focus is on Scottish education and its future direction, the report and ensuing conversations have universal import and significance for the organisation of education systems and curricula development.The report can be found here

In the news:  As Chinese maths teachers are on the way over, it’s interesting how a piece of Pisa gets eaten in Shanghai! Are the poor of Shanghai not being served for consideration? Surely not a cynical explanation to be made? links to stories

“Shanghai teachers flown in for maths” By Sean Coughlan and TES “More than a quarter of Shanghai pupils missed by international Pisa rankings”

Where’s your gritometer when you need one? Bedford Academy prize grit as well as exams, story in the Independent “The 3 Rs – ready, respectful and resilient: A school has put pupils’ character formation before exam results”


a r c h i v e
c a t s
l i n k s
a d m i n