Simplicity Rules How Simplifying What We Do in the Classroom Can Benefit Children16.99
- Reassures teachers that teaching does not need to be a complex procedure.
- Focus throughout the book is on key questioning, taking a lot of pressure off the teaching process.
- Covers the lesson progression, including ideas for feedback.
- A fantastic chapter at the start explores how children learn best, and how teachers should teach more effectively to let them shine.
- Promotes a simplification of teaching practices.
There’s a lot about teaching that is, and should be, pretty simple. You know, start the day at 9am, plan to do a lesson, teach the lesson, and then move onto the next lesson – evaluate it if you want. Then – at 3.30 – go home. I told you – simple. However, as many readers will know, the reality of teaching is a mere six billion miles away from the deceptively simplistic fantasy.
Jo Facer gets that, admitting that teaching is inherently complex. The students who enter our magical classrooms don’t care that you’ve been thinking and worrying about this single lesson over the past weekend – you know, in your downtime – and have complex lives of their own where they are trying to navigate into their place in the world. In her book, Jo guides us through the complex world of how children learn and how pedagogical practice should understand and cater for their learning needs, making lessons memorable with critical questioning and continually retesting the core ideas to check pupils really understand them.
Jo then proceeds to take the reader into a more challenging territory, including chapters about (student) good behaviour, what to teach, resources (with questioning at the core), and key elements to each lesson. The book concludes with a chapter on ‘feedback’, with a startling section devoted to avoiding peer-assessments, to avoid the ‘hypercorrection effect’. Yet, one common theme through the book emphasises the need to critical teacher questioning throughout each lesson, as questioning responses, reactions and reasons are necessary to help students progress.
So, no. Teaching is not simple – but it doesn’t either need to be complex. This book is a great reminder for (mainly) secondary teaching colleagues, leaders and managers to remember that – in most cases – simplicity rules, and anything more complex only confuses, adds to the workload, and can be unnecessary.