A Loss to Know

The ever-increasing costs of the COVID-19 pandemic have been highly visible over the last year. We are used to seeing daily updates to positive cases, hospital admissions and, most shockingly of all, the relentlessly mounting death toll. There have also been attempts to quantify the impact of coronavirus on the economy, as well as on … Continue reading A Loss to Know

Reading about Curriculum

I have spent a lot of time reading about curriculum over the last few years and it has radically changed the way I think about my job. I have kept a list of the books, articles and blogs which have most influenced me as I have done so, and it seems silly not to share … Continue reading Reading about Curriculum

Things which can’t be got

In 1948 two philosophers sat down in a BBC studio to debate the existence of God. The Jesuit priest F.C. Copleston and the mathematician Bertrand Russell locked horns over one of life’s ultimate questions in the most gentlemanly way imaginable. Copleston advanced an argument based on Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason, which he defined as … Continue reading Things which can’t be got

A Political Act

In a recent set of guidance on the teaching of sex, relationships and mental health, the Department for Education clarified its position on political impartiality in schools. The document reminds headteachers of their responsibility to ensure that, ‘where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing … Continue reading A Political Act

Truthfulness and Cultural Literacy

Encountering cultural literacy It took me much longer to get round to reading E.D. Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy (1987) than it should have done, considering its seminal status in curricular thought. I was reluctant at first because of Hirsch’s less than positive reputation within the teaching profession (e.g. Sloan, 2017) and I think there was part … Continue reading Truthfulness and Cultural Literacy

A Remote Possibility: Using multiple-choice questions to build conceptual understanding at a distance

I have become slightly obsessed with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in recent months. I first considered them properly when I read Daisy Christodolou’s book Making Good Progress (2017) a couple of years ago, and have learned more about them through the Assessment Lead Programme from Evidence Based Education (both the book and the programme come strongly … Continue reading A Remote Possibility: Using multiple-choice questions to build conceptual understanding at a distance