Lockdown Notes #3 – sport, newsprint, Disney Plus and David Bowie

As has become the norm during lockdown, we chat (virtually) and one of the questions that inevitably pops up is how we’re spending our time. The phrase ‘intellectual pottering’ sprang to mind the other day. It sounds very grandiose. Really it just means pottering but not doing anything practical, such as a bit of weedingContinue reading “Lockdown Notes #3 – sport, newsprint, Disney Plus and David Bowie”

Coronavirus to a geographer: an example of how subject disciplines give us powerful knowledge and why that matters

Why having some expertise isn’t a bad thing and what on earth does ‘thinking like a geographer’ mean? While enjoying my daily exercise, despite the rain, I was again using the time to indulge my newfound taste for podcasts. Listening to The Intelligence (26th March edition, by The Economist) there was a piece about how theContinue reading “Coronavirus to a geographer: an example of how subject disciplines give us powerful knowledge and why that matters”

Lockdown Notes #2 – coronavirus, time and relationships

The coronavirus, or rather our response to it, has had an impact on all aspects of life. Fundamentally it has had an impact on time: how (and where) we spend time, our routines, and the ‘cost’ of time. It has also had an impact on relationships: who we interact with and how we conduct thoseContinue reading “Lockdown Notes #2 – coronavirus, time and relationships”

Lockdown Notes #1 – thoughts about content, the media, knowledge, power and the humble pub quiz

Next to my bed is a permanent yet dynamic pile of ‘content’ – books, magazines, etc – an iPad too sometimes, my phone a stretch across to the dressing table. I seem to have a pathological dislike for empty surfaces. Why leave them empty when you could have stuff to hand? I’ll normally have somethingContinue reading “Lockdown Notes #1 – thoughts about content, the media, knowledge, power and the humble pub quiz”

The Joy of Curriculum

As I (willingly) slave away over my department’s geography curriculum, it has occurred to me that this latest shift in education has done a huge amount to rejuvenate my own passion for teaching. In what was going to be a blog reflecting on the practical steps involved in building a knowledge-rich curriculum, I have actually writtenContinue reading “The Joy of Curriculum”

Knowledge organisers, retrieval practice and the knowledge-rich curriculum

As teachers swept up in the latest winds of change hitting UK schools and fans of early-era Soccer AM will tell you: knowledge is the bomb. Like many teachers (and Saturday morning telly fans), I wholeheartedly subscribe to the importance of knowledge. Unfortunately, amidst the clamour to become knowledge-rich, some teachers and schools may be missingContinue reading “Knowledge organisers, retrieval practice and the knowledge-rich curriculum”

Geography Education’s Potential and the Capability Approach – a review

Richard Bustin has written an excellent book. As well as thoroughly explaining how powerful knowledge and capabilities can be combined, he makes a persuasive case for how this approach could underpin a brighter future for education in the UK. Powerful knowledge is a concept originated by Professor Michael Young, a physics teacher turned sociologist, whoContinue reading “Geography Education’s Potential and the Capability Approach – a review”

Do teachers want powerful knowledge?

As education in the United Kingdom undertakes a ‘knowledge turn’, a growing body of research and practice around powerful knowledge potentially offers an intellectually and morally convincing framework to underpin a knowledge-rich curriculum. If a powerful knowledge-rich approach is going to work though, then teachers need to buy in. So a key question is: doContinue reading “Do teachers want powerful knowledge?”

Bridging the gap

For several years I have sensed a coming together of several previously disparate strands. Both in education and in politics more widely, new thinking is galvanising around what the future of liberal-progressive thought might look like. Despite this emerging thinking, there also seems to be a disconnect between the possible future and the status quo.Continue reading “Bridging the gap”

What does a policy response to ‘powerful knowledge’ look like?

English schools are currently going through something of a ‘knowledge turn’, with a renewed emphasis on the curriculum and the learning of substantial subject knowledge. Whilst this may be considered a step in the right direction, we might not yet be heading to the right destination. This ‘work in progress’ post argues for a powerfulContinue reading “What does a policy response to ‘powerful knowledge’ look like?”