A chat over the custard creams

So, Miss Pedagogy, what’s the issue?

Well, Mrs Head, it hasn’t quite turned out as I hoped.

Go on.

Well, remember the exercise we did on the last training day, when staff were putting post -it notes on sheets of A3 telling us what sort of learners we would like to see?

Yes – you told me you would steer it round to Claxton’s  Rs – resilient, resourceful, reflective and reciprocal.

Yes, but look at this?

Hmm, I see what you mean. Hardworking, academic, modest, respectful. Miss Pedagogy! We can’t put those words on our prospectus!

Quite, Mrs Head. But it gets worse. You remember the guru who came to talk to the staff about learning styles? And how we were going to get staff to seat students with cards saying what their preferred learning style was? Well, they’re refusing to do it. Some of them have found some research in the blogosphere which says learning styles are a myth.

Hmm – this is partly your fault, Miss Pedagogy. It was you who told them they had to engage with research.

But I didn’t mean that sort of research! I meant it like the old days, when we would tell staff the research and they would try it out on a class. But when Mr Verynaive did that, someone said that his conclusions were not necessarily valid and mentioned something called the Hawthorne effect, which I hadn’t heard of. And then, when I told them that knowledge was of little importance in the 21st century, someone quoted  some other research which said that it was!

Damn these modern researchers! In the old days, we could always accuse those who didn’t rush to implement an idea of being Luddites. Really, Miss Pedagogy, you must find a way of stopping them reading these seditious blogs! When I was telling them that all learning should be active, someone said that they had read something which contradicted the idea! The impudence! Never used to happen. I’ve had Mr Dataman in tears. Remember his brilliant idea of subdividing the sublevels to create subsublevels?

Oh yes, Mrs Head, how can I forget! The staff were going to input data at the end of every day and make up action plans for every child who was one subsublevel below their target. This forensic use of data was going to transform progress! We spent £6000 on it.

Yes, but now levels have been abolished he doesn’t know what to do! And then, when we thought we’d get round it by issuing subject checklists and success criteria, some one said that Assessment for Learning had now been questioned by a prominent academic and even had the nerve to tell me that Dylan Wiliam never intended staff to write aims and objectives on the board every lesson!

Oh Mrs Head, that’s shocking! How can the poor children learn without copying their aims and objectives?

I know, Miss Pedagogy, I know. Sadly, it’s the world we live in today…oh well, let’s get on to the next item on the agenda. Now then, 21st century skills…………





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10 Responses to A chat over the custard creams

  1. Brilliant. I’d love to pin this on our staff notice board. But it’s too close to the mark. I’d be in serious trouble for actually doing my own research on these things. Even forwarding a link to colleagues is dangerous. I’m holding out for an official debunking of BLP. My school has paid for a set of vocabulary with 4 subheadings beginning with the same letter. I think we had free use of any of these words before Guy Claxton tried to copyright them. Trouble is the management find it hard to do a public U turn. They have to continue to pretend they believe in it all. Now that mere teachers have easy access to so much discussion surely the game’s up soon for imposing initiatives.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. PS having lived through the nonsense of aims and objectives, could you point me to your Dylan Williams link. Also The three part lesson with a necessary starter doesn’t get mentioned much. Has this been officially debunked anywhere. Your site is great by the way. Much of it resonates with me.


    • fish64 says:

      It’s in Chapter 3 of Dylan Wiliam’s book, “Embedded formative assessment”. He says that “this kind of tokenistic approach to the sharing of learning objectives is most definitely not what is intended by the strategy of “clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions and success criteria”. Also look at David Didau’s blog and his book “What if everything you knew about education was wrong”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. fish64 says:

    No problem, thanks for the kind comments!


  4. Pingback: Let’s hear it for blogging and tweeting! | fish64

  5. Brilliant. Best thing I’ve found yet in this ‘blogosphere’! Since this article encapsulates the sentiment of a number of my posts but much more succinctly and entertainingly, I think I’ll give up writing and read your blog instead.


  6. Pingback: Another chat over the custard creams | fish64

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