Teaching School’s Recommended Reads
Rosenshine’s Principles In Action: Tom Sherrington (John Catt Educational , 2019)
This is a really short and user friendly introduction to and summary of Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction , which are gaining traction in UK schools (although, personally, I baulk at the word ‘instruction’ in my old fashioned progressive way, perhaps!) , largely coupled with a knowledge curriculum agenda. None of Rosenshine appears to be rocket science to me, but the book is short, accessible, has useful tips and would definitely, definitely be useful to anyone who is starting out in teaching, wants to refresh their practice , or wants to update themselves on current pedagogical trends. As a bonus, the main body of the book is only 50 pages! Tom Sherrington trained as physics teacher but covers a good range of subjects and writes clearly and engagingly. A bit overpriced at present for such a short book at £8.99.
Boys Don't Try: Rethinking Masculinity In Schools: Mark Roberts and Matt Pinkett (Routledge , 2019)
Written by two male teachers, I was worried about a certain ‘bantering’ voice developing , but this is not at all the case. They included some interesting research and challenge lots of assumptions and generalisations. I like that they acknowledge that male attitudes to female staff and students needs challenging and that they both counsel against just putting a bunch of boys in front of a male teacher as if that solves issues. The book does feel a little rushed (it came out before its original promised release date) and contains a few typos. It feels like it could have been fuller and longer but, at the same time, it feels a bit like they ran out of material. The chapters on mental health and on disadvantage are very useful ; the chapter on violence could have been far more developed, in my opinion. There are some useful PSE type lesson templates. Neither author considers that this male disadvantage seems miraculously to invert itself in later life... nonetheless, they do very clearly say it is not the job of girls to 'civilise the boys' and all hail for that! It’s an eminently readable book and I recommend to to all teachers, but perhaps especially middle and senior leaders who are investigating the gender gap.
Exam Literacy: A guide to doing what works (and not what doesn't) to better prepare students for exams -Jake Hunton (Crown House, 2018).
Nothing new here, in that it brings together thinking and research from many sources (Willingham, Christodoulou, Quigley, for example), most of which I had encountered or read. But useful and accessible for those who haven't and great to have lots of thinking about memory and literacy gathered together in one place: it’s exceedingly comprehensive! I like his sometimes controversial angle and statements. It is great for many as it actually (unlike many education books) gives worked examples from lots of subjects, especially MFL, which is definitely an unusual subject to focus on in these books, but is short on examples from English, with only a couple of pages given to him byt his brother. This is a great book for anyone who is thinking about how to make students better at exams, rather than relying on revision sessions and panic stations : it has a longer term perspective on things.