My reflections from research ED Rugby

Here is my rundown of the talks I saw today at research ED Rugby.

My own talk: “Getting through to locked-out learners” That was a highlight in my year. I’ve had an ambition to talk at a research ED for about a year and it was great to be able to hit that target. If you want to know more about my talk I’m sorry but I won’t be blogging it completely at this time. This is mainly because I think it’s at the half way stage. The ideas I cover first emerged in two earlier blogs on knowledge organisers and revision. The rest was a mix of cognitive and moral psychology, but then main takeaways can be found in those blogs.

Sam Strickland: I think the main takeaways from Sam’s talk about how he changed his school is just how insane the place was when he arrived there. I was impressed with his willingness to make rapid changes and I’m sure his students really appreciate the impact he has had. A couple of specifics which caught my eye were his use of tutors as gatekeepers of the day and how he communicated the changes to students in a clear and explicit way.

Knowledge networking: A new innovation for this year. I spent time talking with other speakers and discussing wider ideas in education. It was a valuable time and I got to meet face to face some bloggers I had been reading for the last year.

Tom Chillimamp: Prove you’re right. Tom did a great job explaining how to structure calculations and SLOP. Read it here now

Matthew Benyohai: Matthew is one of the most data literate teachers I have ever met. He amazingly explained the reason why schools shouldn’t use GCSE grades to show progress, why flightpaths are nonsense and how reporting can accidentally hurt students’ self-efficacy. Not only did he illustrate how he used ‘bee plots’ to illustrate where a student fits into a cohort he also showed how a noob like me can do an easier version in excel!

Ruth Walker: Powerful knowledge. With the disappointment of Michael Young himself being unable to attend it was great to see Ruth deliver such a detailed and fascinating talk about his idea of powerful knowledge and how it aims to destroy educational disadvantage. I think I’ve learnt more philosophy from reading Ruth’s blog this year than ever. Thanks to her I now understand a tiny bit. Ruth’s given me a lot to think about in terms of how we ensure all students can go to a school free from disruption and be able to study the objective best of what has been thought. She also emphasised the need understand the process by which new knowledge is created so students can realise that ay hey an play that role in society. Her talk was a rallying cry against those that think students from disadvantaged backgrounds should only learn knowledge relevent to their current context and ambition.

Overall it was a great day. Thanks to Jude for inviting me and for all the friendly people I talked to today.

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