As the year comes to the end, my envy at the legion of best book lists of the year drove home to me how little time I’ve devoted to reading books. My next best attempt is to list and share my favourite educational articles from 2017 that I squeezed into the corners of evening and in car rides.
These articles caught my eye, making me stash them away for later, and now share. So here you go…
Dan Willingham – ‘How to get your mind to read‘. This Willingham article is a fascinating tour de force on the subject of reading that spans fake news to more effective teaching in schools.
Sarah O’Connor – ‘Left behind: can anyone save the towns the UK economy forgot‘. As social mobility plans make the headlines, this outstanding FT long read shines a light on the seaside town of Blackpool and reveals the complex problems and solutions for education across England.
Matt Barnum – ‘The contradictions of good teaching‘. This intriguing article explores research that revealed teachers who were best at raising test scores are worse at making children happy in class. It is a paradox worth discussing.
Kate Nation – ‘TES talks to Kate Nation’ – this revealing interview tackles the subject of reading as well as taking on the hot potato of the phonics debate. Kate Nation proves a voice of calm wisdom.
Dylan Wiliam – ‘Getting educational research right’. As ever, William plants the hammer square on the nail when it comes to evidence in education. Well worth a read and further reflection.
Art Markman – ‘Can you be a great leader without technical expertise?‘. This Harvard Business Review article raises a thorny but crucial issue for schools. How much expertise do leaders need to develop in schools. Are we business executives or leaders of learning? Both or neither?
Laura McInerney – ‘The lesson from St Olave’s: pushing out pupils to boost results must stop’. A toxic topic in educational circles, McInerney grasps the issue of off-rolling (kicking out students to save league tables faces) that is a moral conundrum for 2018 we must all confront.
Jane E Brody – ‘How to cut children’s screentime. Say no to yourself first’. The humdrum reality is that technology won’t save education, nor will it destroy it. We should, however, consider the importance of ubiquitous gadgets for our children, as well as ourselves.
Rebecca Allen – ‘Making Teaching a job worth doing again’. Ok, this is breaking the rules a little, as it isn’t quite a published article, but this speech transcript by the brilliant Becky Allen tackles the single biggest issues for schools today: teacher recruitment and retention.
Geoff Barton – ‘We need to change the story we tell about our profession – to the world and to ourselves’. One solution to the aforementioned key issue of 2018 – recruitment and retention – is proposed by Geoff Barton. Such optimistic, determined leadership is what we need in teaching in 2018.