Further to the individual pages on this site I thought it would be worth putting a collection of clips on here that would be a place to bring together current thinking on the most useful areas. I will update this as the year progresses:

Visible Learning: John Hattie – the idea of measuring impact

John Hattie’s work provides an important insight into the nature of educational research and the notion of measuring impact.  The idea that some strategies can be shown to have had more impact on average over time relative to others is crucial and his general message about the implications for teachers and the profession is very strong.  This video, (with a counterpart Part 1) gives a very good idea of Hattie’s thinking.  Of course, the effect size concept is problematic and is open to misinterpretation. We’ll need to have that discussion – but people will need to know the principles first.

Formative Assessment: Dylan Wiliam

Dylan Wiliam is someone most people know of even if they haven’t engaged directly with him or his work.  His website is packed with materials to browse through.  He has been leading the way for the last two decades in getting teachers to think about what they’re doing and why. Inside the Black Box was a revelation when we first encountered it back in the 90s.  However, following the national adoption of AfL 10 years ago, lots of the ideas have become rather distorted, spawning various superficial AfL gimmicks or misconceptions about the meaning of ‘formative’ – but I firmly believe that every teacher should know very clearly what Dylan is saying.  This video is one of several recordings of his engaging presentations (cut in at 1 min 30 to get over the long musical intro!)  Alongside his recent book, I think that videos like this could help us to establish a good shared understanding of what we mean by formative assessment and feedback and what these things can look like in practice.

Lessons from Cognitive Science:  Daniel T Willingham

The field of cognitive science is giving us ever greater insights into how learning works.  There are lots of people in this field but Daniel T Willingham does a very good job of making the ideas accessible and relevant to our school experience.  This book, Why don’t students like school, is a must-read. He provides a handy summary in the concluding chapter which gives a feel for the key ideas and their implications for our practice.  In particular it gives a firm steer in terms of the discourse around thinking, memory, teaching factual knowledge and the need for conscious effort and feedback to secure improvement.

Daniel T W

This interview with Tom Bennett for ResearchEd 2013 gives a superb insight into Dan’s thinking:

I’d also recommend watching this gem of video where Dan explains why learning styles don’t exist:

Robert Bjork and Desirable Difficulties

On YouTube there is a whole series of fascinating short videos where Robert Bjork explains some key findings from his research into memory.  From these you can get an idea of his findings and the general idea of ‘desirable difficulties’ necessary to secure long-term memory, possibly at the expense of the sense of short-term progress.  This clip is a good introduction but I’d recommend watching them all.  If we can all talk about storage, retrieval, interleaving and so on, we’ll be in a better place.

An Ethic of Excellence: Ron Berger

Ron’s book is an inspiration to many people who read it.  The attitudes that is promotes are so powerful, providing significant food for thought as we look at shaping our ethos.   A specific example is shown through this classic Austin’s Butterfly video about the power of critique.  It’s the spirit of it that is most crucial – that we shouldn’t accept mediocrity from any student; we should have aspirational goals for everyone and use specific techniques to enable students to reach them.   We will be referring to Austin’s Butterfly a lot.

Guy Claxton and ‘below the line’ learning

I find that Guy Claxton is often misrepresented as being ‘anti-knowledge’ or his ideas are adopted by evangelicals who elevate Building Learning Power to the level of some kind of concrete theory of learning that must be followed almost on principle.  For me, Guy’s ideas and his mode of presentation, provide a useful provocation to question some of our assumptions about what we learn, how we learn and why we learn in certain ways.  The idea that pedagogy could be devised to deliver a deep, knowledge-rich curriculum that simultaneously gives space for students to develop certain dispositions that might serve them well in the future – is inviting. It might be difficult to deliver without losing one or other aspect and that’s the challenge. But the idea is sound and certainly worthy of debate in a school.   To me, Guy is promoting ‘knowledge AND dispositions’, not one or the other. Here he is:

Carol Dweck: Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset is so in vogue at the moment, it is natural for anyone who has been hit by a bandwagon to approach this cautiously. However, as with Guy Claxton’s ideas, there is great power in considering the extent to which  student attitudes to learning are influenced at every level of the school – in all of the messages we give in public and in the classroom.  The issue of labelling students such that they have their horizons limited or are lulled into complacency is very common; we’re all guilty of it to some degree.  Here Carol is setting out the key ideas:

Pygmalion Effect: Robert Rosenthal

This video tells the story of some research that shows the power of teacher expectations. It links in with Hattie’s research – as this is one of the highest effects he cites.  Higher teacher expectations lead to better outcomes.  Obvious? Well – it’s worth watching this to see how teachers can change their interactions with students leading to better outcomes when their expectations are raised deliberately:

Doug Lemov:  Practice and Rigour

Staff need to know about Doug Lemov and his two books: Teach Like A Champion and Practice Perfect.  Of course the American context is different but there is huge merit in engaging in several of Doug’s ideas.  Strategies like 100% or Right is Right show how very high expectations and rigour in discussion can be achieved.  His ideas about teachers’ practice are also very interesting – we won’t get better as fast as we could if just repeat our mistakes over and over again in lessons.   We need to rehearse and practice specific strategies until we do them better.

Martin Robinson: The Trivium 21st C

There is already a suggested reading list on this site and this is a wonderful book.  It explores how the ideas behind Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric can be brought to life in the classroom and beyond.


This post was lifted from @headguruteachers blog as he has already collated the information!


Interesting YouTube clips:






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