A change of perspective: the explanatory power of varied examples

In this post, Rupert Knight considers how drawing on varied examples when explaining new concepts can enhance understanding. It builds on previous blogs in this series, particularly those on a teacher’s core practices and on modelling. Showing the essence of an idea through multiple perspectives ‘Jim Jarvis hopped about on the edge of the road, …

Learning to be a subject advocate

In this blog post Anna Baker and Rachael Trott, supported by Catherine Gripton, reflect upon their experiences on the ‘Primary School Direct with Mathematics’ programme, summarising what supports beginning teachers to become advocates for a subject alongside developing their practice in the full range of primary subjects. Learning to teach Teaching is complex and learning …

Primary-Secondary transition

As schools return and a new cohort of Year 7s begin, John Perry reflects on the move from primary to secondary education and how primary teachers can support this process over the coming year. A minute ago it was June. Now the weather is September. The crops are high, about to be cut, bright, golden. …

What are the signature pedagogies of teacher education?

At a time when teacher education is under the spotlight, Rupert Knight revisits Lee Shulman’s idea of signature pedagogies as a way of developing shared, ambitious principles for the education of beginning teachers. Learning to teach in England In the last year, the process of learning to teach has come under renewed scrutiny in England. …

Spatial thinking: the missing piece in mathematics education?

In this blog post Catherine Gripton explores the potential of spatial thinking for supporting children’s success in mathematics, starting from the early years of primary school. Spatial thinking improves mathematics learning International rankings for education, such as TIMMS and PISA, compare countries by the performance of children and young people on mathematics tests. These are …

Children reading in lockdown

In 2020, the National Literacy’s Trust’s (NLT) research revealed how UK children’s reading practices (age 8-18) changed during the first lockdown (from March 2020). Prior to the lockdown, the Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey had sadly revealed a 15-year low in children’s enjoyment of reading. However, the 2020 survey showed that children read and enjoyed reading …

Using visual models to solve problems and explore relationships in Mathematics lessons – Part 2 (putting the theory into Practice)

This is the second of a two-part blog series by Marc North focused on using representations in Mathematics lessons to both solve problems and explore mathematical relationships. Part 1, available here, unpicked some of the key theoretical ideas around the use of representations and models. This Part 2 illustrates how these theoretical ideas can be …

Teacher resilience in Covid times

How can we support teacher resilience in Covid times? In this blog Esther Fulton considers how the current pandemic has affected the resilience of beginning teachers and suggests how key support can be put in place to help with this. As part of the ITE curriculum here at the University of Nottingham, one of the …

Reconsidering the role of deliberate practice in teacher education

The disruption to schooling this year has led to some unusual learning experiences for beginning teachers. While they may have missed some face-to-face time in classrooms, they have nevertheless been able to experience aspects of creative thinking, teamwork, parental liaison and technology use that have not been as prominent in the past. All of this …

Using visual models to solve problems and explore relationships in Mathematics: beyond concrete, pictorial, abstract – Part 1

This two-part blog series by Marc North explores some thinking and strategies for using representations in Mathematics lessons. Part 1 unpicks some of the key theoretical ideas around the use of representations and models and foregrounds how representations can be used to both solve problems and explore mathematical relationships. Part 2 will illustrate these theoretical …