Powerful Pedagogy Teach Better Quicker22.99
- Comprehensive and thorough without being heavy or complicated.
- Insightful and revealing, makes the reader question themselves.
- As the book’s subtitle says “Teach Better Quicker” – if that is your aim, then this is the book for you.
Review compiled by: Peter Hall
It is slowly dawning on me that my early training as a teacher whilst seeming helpful at the time sadly sold me rather short. I was not taught enough about modelling, about how to explain things, about the point of testing, about how to mark effectively. In short, my training skipped too much of the pedagogy that I needed to know. In recent years this gap has been filled, bit by bit, thanks to colleagues on Twitter, training at school and books I’ve read.
I wish I’d read this book sooner. Ruth Powley opens with a powerful chapter highlight just how much many of us were trained along a technical model as if teaching was merely a skill we could acquire as if we could teach the same lesson year on year and achieve greatness. I shudder to think how many worksheets I hoarded in my first few years teaching, ready to re-use them year after year. Luckily I was encouraged to reflect on an effective lesson and realised quickly how much more context sat around what my classes needed.
In this book, we are treated to a comprehensive explanation of key areas of pedagogy we should all understand better. So we are taken through modelling of excellence, explanations, a better understanding of fluency, how to question and assess, how marking can and should lead to improvement, and then finally a chapter about planning sequences of lessons.
There is so much here to delight in, so much that rings true in an instant and yet is phrased delicately and without criticism.
There are giants in the field; Barber, Christodoulou, Didau, Hattie, Hargreaves, Wiliam and so on. These are referred to frequently – the author has clearly researched well and thought hard about what she has gained from their work. At times I found the interjections from these giants a little distracting and would have preferred the author to continue in her own words, but I’m also grateful to be given such a clear understanding from so many others.
This book is a challenge without being too challenging, it has shown me many of the errors of my training (and perhaps in the way I’ve trained others) but in a kind and helpful way, the author feels like a friend trying to help and coach me towards a brighter future, never critical and never condescending or patronising.
This is a powerful book, one that all teachers will read and that that will clearly help us all to teach better quickly.
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