‘As a profession we have become confused. After many years of educational research, nobody can put a definitive finger on what successful classroom practice really looks like.’
And with that, Shaun Allison and Andrew Tharby went on a mission that resulted in their 2015 book, Making Every Lesson Count: Six principles to support great teaching and learning.
The book is a quest to define effective teaching in a way that is relevant and useful to teachers. Allison and Tharby draw on three sources to do this: research and evidence; examples from colleagues and fellow practitioners; and their own daily experience as classroom teachers.
They propose that six pedagogical principles form the core of successful teaching: challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning. The idea is that any teacher in any setting can use this model – the principles are general so they can be adapted to any classroom.
The authors say they were inspired by Led Zeppelin’s ‘tight but loose’ approach where each band member is an expert musician but has creative freedom in the group. They say they ‘have highlighted a few essentials to great teaching but leave you free to implement them and connect them as you see fit.’
This leaves much to be discussed so we are absolutely delighted that both Allison and Tharby will be joining our first book club of 2018.
We will be online on Thursday 11th January from 7:30pm to 8:30pm with both Allison and Tharby to discuss Making Every Lesson Count and effective teaching more widely. It’s entirely open and we would love for as many of you as possible to take part. There are three ways you can join in:
- On Twitter, use and follow the hashtag #CCTbookclub
- We will start a thread on our Facebook page that you will be able to comment and respond to
- Feel free to comment in the comments section below this article.
You can talk about anything that struck you in the book. We have included the six core principles below as a starter for the discussion, but if you would like to ask about something else, please feel free. The principles are:
- Challenge – students have high expectations of what they can achieve
- Explanation – students get the skills and knowledge they need
- Modelling – students learn how to apply the skills/knowledge
- Practice – students deliberately practice the knowledge/skills
- Questioning – students have to think hard
- Feedback – students have to consider how to develop their skills/knowledge.
See you online on Thursday 11th January from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.