I love reading education blogs, and this year has been a great year for it. There has been a ton of incredibly interesting stuff published, and I know that my practice has changed for the better because of it. I’ve narrowed down my list of “best” blogs as much as I can, and I’ve tried to limit it to blogs that are just so comprehensive as to feel like nothing else needs to be written on the topic. Because it wouldn’t be right not to, I have a couple of honourable mentions and bloggers to watch too. A little while ago I collected the blogs which influenced my development the most which you can find here. That list contains more of the “big hitters” and some blogs which are really part of an informal edu-twitter-blogosphere canon.
Best blog of the year: E. Coli and Quality First Teaching by Ruth Walker
This blog will fundamentally change the way you think about teaching and student performance. I won’t spoil it: go forth and read.
Runners-up in no particular order
- You may have noticed a little spat about silent corridors recently. As far as I am concerned, Clare Sealy’s blog on the topic represents the last word.
- I really struggle to talk meaningfully about behaviour. On the one hand, I hold students completely responsible for their behaviour, but I also know that there are things I can do which can promote positive behaviours. Tom Sherrington’s post on the topic takes a pragmatic, sensible and actionable approach.
- Dawn Cox’s blogs are always excellent. Grounded in evidence, immediately applicable and accepting of nothing but the best, I thought her blog about the need to radically re-evaluate revision culture was a message that needed to be said.
- Though not technically one blog, Pritesh Raichura’s Writing in Science Symposium stimulated my pedagogical brain-buds to the extreme. Bursting with research and practical ideas, I came away from the symposium positively excited to try some new things.
- Becky Allen is the best. Her speciality is slaying the data dragon, and whilst it’s difficult to point to one blog above all the others, I reckon this is the best place to start: would it really be so bad if we cannot measure progress?
Amy’s blog on what her school have done about performance related pay and teacher CPD is a paean to professional autonomy and empowerment. A must-read for any school leader thinking about CPD in their school.
I love Key Stage 3. Sadly, it is often second fiddle to older sibling Key Stage 4 (you know, the one with the high stakes accountability measures at the end of it). Rebecca Foster and Steve Lane both have cracking articles on how to make better use of this precious time.
I didn’t expect myself to fall in love with a blog about calligraphy, but Sarah Barker writes so brilliantly about learning, practice, effort and the highest of standards that you cannot help but let this blog hit home.
Bloggers to watch
Bill Wilkinson doesn’t blogged much, but his recent posts have been really great. Keep an eye on.
Damian Benney writes the blogger’s blog. Always immaculately researched and evaluated, they are a model of how to think hard about reflecting on practice.
Tom Norris is relatively new to the blogging scene but his post on teaching electricity was just gorgeous: a paradigm of how to explain a ridiculously difficult topic effortlessly.
Tom Needham has written a bunch of outstanding blogs about direct instruction and cognitive load theory. Brain food for the teacher who prizes explanation, sequencing and serious learning.