Despite our feature image, Backwards Teaching does not literally mean standing with your back to your class whilst you waffle on impart your knowledge and wisdom to your pupils. Created by Andy Griffith and Mark Burns, the pedagogical approach advocates to teachers planning and teaching backwards from a clear and well-defined destination.
At the heart of this approach is a philosophy that four main ingredients are key in the teaching and learning process: feedback; autonomy; challenge; and engagement. Teachers are asked to have high expectations, to plan, to watch for where students might go off route and where they may misunderstand, and to provide multiple opportunities for the learning process.
The book provides the methods, the meat and vegetables, for the journey and lots of practical advice about how to understand success, work backwards from success to where the students are now, and then plan how to navigate (with all the usual twists and occasional wrong turns) the route to this success. The book looks at each point with chapters on Setting High Expectations, Starting Points, Defining and Demystifying the Destination, Looking for Proof of Learning, Challenge, and Feedback.
Who is this book aimed at? There is a lot of detail in this book, with plenty of ideas which will suit primary or secondary teachers. If you’re looking for a new pedagogical approach to implement within your classroom, department or school, then Teaching Backwards gives you the foundations and confidence. Newly Qualified Teachers and Student Teachers will also find the ideas of use.
Teaching Backwards by Andy Griffith and Mark Burn is published by Crown House Publishing Limited, and available from Amazon UK above.