Book: Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice by @HFletcherWood via @RoutledgeEd

Published by Routledge Education

Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice













  • This book gives clear advice and examples to improve teaching
  • Each chapter is presented as a case study concerning a particular teacher, describing the struggles and difficulties the teacher faces at present and takes the reader through some possible improvements giving drawbacks and challenges along the way.
  • The book covers a wide range of different aspects of classroom practice.
  • The book combines current thinking about cognitive science and formative assessment in easy to understand language, based on examples of these ideas in practice.

Review compiled by: Peter Hall

Supported by: Routledge Education Publishing

I wish this book had been written 20 years ago when I started teaching.  There is a wealth of ideas presented clearly that I challenge anyone to read it and not be inspired and challenged to improve their current practice.  Harry Fletcher-Wood presents seven difficulties facing us today;

  1. How can we plan a unit, when we want students to learn so much, and have so little time?
  2. How can we plan a lesson, when we want students to learn so much, and have so little time?
  3. How can we show students what success looks like?
  4. How can we tell what students learned in the lesson?
  5. How can we tell what students are thinking?
  6. How can we help every student improve?
  7. How can we make this work in reality?

Each chapter takes the reader through one of these questions.  We are given a well-described case study that makes the challenge come to life and appears as an authentic description of a real teacher with a real class.  Ideas for improved are suggested and we read of the teacher’s challenge as they grapple with ways to improve their practice.

The reader is not forced towards a magical panacea, rather a clear and well-written discussion is presented with common pitfalls and drawbacks highlighted.  Fletcher-Wood makes every effort to spell out the difficulties of classroom improvement.  Drawbacks in current practice are presented kindly whilst gently pointing out the flaws inherent in many of our practices today.  I am left feeling empowered and inspired not threatened and criticised.

As I write this in July almost at the end of term I am wanting to re-read this over the summer and identify aspects of my teaching to change in September.  Some books I have read have left me feeling chastened and saddened, but this books inspires and encourages.  This is a book that everyone should read, that departments should read and discuss, that school leadership teams should read and allow it to challenge their practice and allow it to help them lead their classroom teachers forward.

Click here – or the link at the top of the page – to purchase this title, and add the code UKE2 to receive an exclusive 20% discount

Interested in implementing ‘Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice’ in your school? Routledge offers preferential school discounts on all their education titles so if you’d like to find out more about purchasing multiple copies of ‘Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice’ for your school then please contact for a quote.

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About PeterHall 7 Articles
Assistant Headteacher, started teaching in 1995. Teaching Maths, Physics and IT. Writes timetable. In charge of school systems, aiming to help us be more efficient in these troubled financial times.

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