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Three things you're told about teaching that are wrong

August 09, 2019 / Rebecca Foster

There are a lot of people who will tell you lots of things about how to teach: university lecturers, mentors, colleagues, CPD leaders, edu-authors, bloggers, Tweeters, Tes writers and Facebook commenters. Learning is invisible. It happens inside our students’ heads and we just can’t see it, however much we might want to. It is a messy, long-term process that we cannot observe; the things we can observe are merely proxies for learning and some of them are better than others.
Just because our students are engaged, completing lots of work and behaving does not mean that they’re learning (although, of course, all of these things are desirable!). A better indicator might be a student’s recall on a test taken some time after content has been taught (but that’s only a proxy too, albeit a better one).You can measure progress in a lesson. What we see in lessons is not learning, but performance. The idea that we can measure the progress of learning in a lesso...