• Education
  • Why teach when you can be a banker?

    Teaching physics is a joy (I'm bias). But really, it's bloody brilliant. Teaching is brilliant, physics is brilliant. Teaching physics is genuinely bloody brilliant. So why is there this struggle to recruit and retain physics teachers? If you have a physics degree, you can do an awful lot of other jobs that can pay you […]

  • Education
  • Automaticity

    Mental operations that process information with little or no conscious awareness represent automaticity (Feldon, 2007). We come across these every day: driving a car, walking, speaking. The benefits to us is that these activities impose little or no cognitive load and our working memory is freed up to consider other things. I hope you can all recognise that this transfers to […]

  • Education
  • Doing What Works

    Cognitive Load Theory (CLT). Its appearance frequency on my Twitter timeline is ever-increasing, and whilst I could get a general grip on it from what people were saying – as it seemed rather like common sense – I did some reading today of various things, including an interview with its 1988 ‘creator’ John Sweller. I certainly see […]

  • Education
  • Is my feedback working?

    All too often students responding to feedback is ineffective. It is worth considering: is my feedback working? At the end of a topic my class will typically do some form of short test. As you mark a test paper you quickly come to realise which questions students are performing well on and which ones they are not: […]

  • Education
  • Assuring Quality

    In many schools, scrutiny has become a term that everyone is now very familiar with. This will often take the form of looking through student books, wandering through lessons, reviewing lesson planning, and carrying out student surveys. These are applied in a variety of different ways and usually carried out by the Senior Leadership Team or a Head […]

  • Education
  • Recruiting for shortage subjects – new kid on the block?

    I recently had a great conversation with Chris Rose from Future Teaching Scholars, an initiative from the Department for Education that’s being run by the Education Development Trust. They are doing something new and exciting with recruiting Physics and Maths teachers: part-funding students through their undergraduate Physics- or Maths-related degrees, with efforts to have these […]