I came across a good article by Dylan Wiliam in the TES the other day. It is called “The 9 things every teacher should know“. None of this is earth shattering, but it is clear and supported and well written by one of the most sensible and honest of the pack of educational gurus that roam around our schools.
I first came across Dylan when I first started teaching back in the early 1980s. We were both Maths teachers in London and collaborated writing a couple of O level and GCSE papers if my memory serves. He went on to be the pioneer of Assessment for Learning with groundbreaking work such as Inside the Black Box. His 2010 BBC TV series The Classroom Experiment is on YouTube.
There are obvious things about learning in this article, that we sometimes forget.
“It is important to remember that unless students are struggling to make sense of what they are learning, little knowledge is likely to be retained in the long term.”
“How well students perform in a learning task is inversely proportionate to how much they will remember weeks later.”
“For successful collaborative learning there should be group goals: students should be working as a group, rather than just in a group. And that each member has to be accountable to the group for the quality of their contributions.”
Have a read, and go to Dyan’s website for more papers and videos.