#NTENRED Wish you were there!

I went, I saw, I thought. A lot.

I arrived expecting presentations on the latest research and had some, but by the end of the day I had appreciated what the day was really about. It was how teachers could engage with, use and participate in the research; how to be discerning ‘consumers’ and active practitioners in small scale study. I was rather slow as this was the keynote speech by John Thomsett. Oh well, always been a bit of an Ass!

My opinions aren’t important so I have limited comment for each session that I attended to one sentence, the rest are quotes that made an impression at the time. The number is not an indication of quality as some sessions were of different character and discussion produces fewer memorable quotes. I’m not wordpress savvy so haven’t linked to contributors blogs and you will have to find them yourself. Do, they are fascinating.

I wish every teacher could have been there. Go to ResearchEd14 in London, you will think. A lot!

 

John Thomsett:

Won me with the first quote, and carried on with pure gold around a slick prezi.

“…the building is tired in parts but we believe that people are the thing that matters at Huntington…”

“…my job [as HT] is to get the conditions for growth right…”

“…I have to remove the culture of fear…”

“…I know how good every [114] one of our teachers are…”

“…how best can I observe to help you improve your practise?…”

“…’Action Research’: how much effect on student outcomes?…”

“…our SLT don’t change much but when we do, we think really hard about implementation…”

“…We will be working with Rob Coe to help people to be better evaluators…”

“…rather than rush we are going to wait another year before any timetable change…”

“…the golden threads through to student outcomes.”

 

Joe Kirby:

So young, so diffident, so thoroughly thoughtful, so impressive.

“…why do students forget so much of what they’ve learned?…”

“…curriculum and assessment allows a lot of forgetting…”

“…frequent quizzing prevents forgetting…”

“…retrieval improves retention…”

“…what is the optimal format and frequency of quizzing?…”

“…frequent is better but spaced is better…”

“…the scientific research chimes with expert experience…”

“…there is a mismatch between what schools do and what the research suggests…”

“…accumulative units of study…”

“…each revisits concepts previously studied with weekly M/C quizzes…”

“…there seems to be a big gap between the specified curriculum and the enacted curriculum…”

“…if we’re going to teach this stuff, what’s the point if they’re not going to remember it?…”

“…optimal rigour, is it better to get harder over time?…”

 

David Weston:

Funny, young again (am I that old?), lots of evidence to push two linked ideas, lesson study and evaluating CPD outcomes for students.

“… I once taught on a cruise ship for two weeks: ballroom dancing…”

On CPD evaluation: “…I filled in ‘happy sheets’…”

“…i.e. looking at the impact on kids; it’s very hard to do…”

“…here’s the Head; I’ve read a book. Let’s do this…”

“…so what IS the effect?…”

“…which students benefit and how will I know?…”

“…if you do Lesson Study you have to stop doing something else…”

 

Keven Bartle:

Quiet, lucid, another deep thinker with an intricately interwoven presentation but no choons!

“…presently there is little accountability for Teaching Schools…”

“…opportunity to influence upwards…”

“…David Hargreaves ‘leading a self improving school system’…”

“…the most powerful influences on teachers is other teachers…”

“…linkage agents for research and practise…”

On presentation: “Touching his noodly appendage!”

“…All have a choice to make: engage with TSA or watch them founder (or prosper)…”

 

Jonathan Haslam:

Academic, thoughtful, keen to discuss ideas about role of Universities.

“…we publish ‘Best Evidence in Brief’ from york.ac.uk/iee…”

“…evidence4impact.org.uk…”

“…the Education Media Centre for general publishers….and media…”

“…few science correspondents have science qualifications…”

“… The culture and structure in academia is very different from that which exists in schools…”

“…stuff that’s being produced is so difficult to apply…”

 

Tom Bennett:

Simply a star; belly-laugh funny, smart and a pure professional. I hope he stays at least a bit in a classroom somewhere.

“…after 8 years as a failed nightclub manager…”

“…got to go ‘boots in’ to be good at it…”

Feedback to him as a new teacher: “…are you sure you want to be a teacher?…”

Advice to him from being observed: “…the research shows…” It didn’t.

“…went on a sabbatical at Cambridge… Wrote Teacher Proof…”

“…since mellowed due to interaction with researchers…”

“…why did the bad stuff get to us?..”

“…the well is partially poisoned…”

“…snake oil: anything goes…”

“… Asking more from our researchers and more from ourselves before we engage with it…”

“…SOLO for example. If it works for you fine; love it, take it home and stroke it!…”

“…SLT bulging wallet and light timetable…”

“…I want to see the numbers on that…”

“…artistic theory is not empirical evidence…”

“…qualitative research has a place…”

“…Dylan Wiliam face palms when he sees what AFL has become…”

“…I’m not trying to be superior here……well…”

“…we can generate guano too…”

“…flipped classroom…”

“… Vested interests, political and commercial…”

“…OOPI: Groovy baby, it was Grrrr…”

“…i-pads and angry birds…where’s the research…still haven’t got back to me…”

“…survey 3000 people on education and BOOM…”

“…magic bullets or magic beans…”

“…don’t give staff crap jobs…”

“…have I just asked someone to spend 3 hours filling in a piece of paper?..”

“…research champions…”

“…avoid obvious pseudoscience…”

“… Teachers are more than data point drivers for researchers…”

 

Andrew Old:

Enigmatic, laugh out loud funny, philosophical and riven with logic. I was confused at first by his topic but it dawned that I really needed to get better at dispassionate argument with colleagues; kind of the point from kind of a big deal.

“How to have a rational argument”

“… Everybody sucks but me!”

at this point we did a Think Pair Share, I looked for sign of irony… I still am not sure!

“…is there such a thing as truth?…….Obviously!…”

“…can we know the truth?……Probably!…”

“…can we prove a claim is true?……No!…”

“…there is definitely such a thing as honesty…”

“…absence of lies…”

“…absence of bullshit……bullshit is a word!..”

“…what does an honest argument look like?..”

“…logic….evidence…”

“…fallacies…ad hominem…straw man…equivocation…false compromise…”

“…Avicenna….flogged and not flogged….burned and not burned…admit they are not the same.”

“…WIERD samples…”

“…positive bias…”

 

I met some of the contributors, they were universally friendly, warm and apparently unaffected by their prominence in the profession. It was a transformational day that has led to some minor change in my practise already although I haven’t had an argument yet!

 

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