Tom Bennett, founder of researchED, author, and behaviour advisor to the DfE, exorcises his demons here.
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Doom would be alone! The world's oddest comic about teachers. And the Fantastic Four.
There exists, in at least one of the galaxy's infinite universes, a comic so bad, that even putting Doctor Doom in it can't save it. And it's about teachers. Here's the link. My blog can only contain so much..whatever it is. The horror. The HORROR.
Enough is enough- it's time to stop taking bad advice about behaviour when children's futures are at stake
Years ago I waited tables in TGI Fridays, where they used to run competitions for staff to see who could sell the most sticky, smoky meat and goldfish bowls of margaritas. Until one day the good times stopped rolling and the managers decreed there would be no more. The reason? One of them had read a book: ‘Punished by rewards’, and claimed that it described how people shouldn’t be incentivised by something so gaudy as an incentive. The author was Alfie Kohn. Years later when I became a teacher I discovered his advice was following me around like eyes on a painting in Scooby Doo. Kohn has become one of the most influential writers in education. His books have found homes in libraries from Beirut to Bearsden. Sadly, rarely have trees been so needlessly pulped.
I frequently hear him described as a behaviour expert. But I find this strange, because surely one of the defining …
It’s still a wonderful job Nb: this is an edited version of a previously published post I usually have a Christmas ritual: I republish a post I wrote a few years ago called ‘It’s a wonderful job.’ It was a Winter rumination about why teaching was still one of the best jobs you could do, despite the aggro and the paperwork and rats carrying lasers*. It was a sentimental meditation, me on my rocking chair smoking a pipe and chuckling as I read Christmas cards from cherubic children.
Love, Actually says at Christmas you have to tell the truth. This year it would feel insincere to regurgitate so straightforward a love letter to the profession- mainly because since September last year I’m not teaching. Four years ago I started researchED as a kitchen table project, and I ran it on top of full time teaching for 18 months until the banjo string of my psyche threatened to snap. So I went part time. researchED grew and grew, more and more conferences in more and more countries and continents, b…
At the recent researchED in Haninge Sweden, I closed the conference with a speech that tried to understand where we had got to in evidence informed education, and what the landscape looked like. The following is a summary of that speech:
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, at least it does in education, where we see teaching full of myths, and poorly evidenced practices and strategies. Why have we succumbed so much to Learning Styles and worse, and why have we found ourselves basing our vital practice on gut feelings, hunches and intuition? I think it’s because misconceptions creep into the spaces where: we don’t know much about the topic, we like the answers junk science provides, or we’re too busy to find out the facts.
How did we get here? Let’s reframe that question. Where did you acquire your ideas about teaching, learning, pedagogy etc? Chances are your answer revolves around: teacher training; memories of your own school experience; your mentor; your early class experiences.