My top five posts of 2018

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New Year’s Eve is the time to list my top five posts of the year. Here they are, in reverse order.

5. Kindness in the classroom

In this post, I outlined part of my classroom philosophy and the importance I place on kindness. This is something that has to be taught and modelled by the teacher, who also needs to consider lesson structures.

4. Why does it matter what teenagers choose to read?

Does it matter what children read for pleasure at home? Should we be concerned if they are not choosing high quality literature? Perhaps we would be less concerned if we knew that they are exposed to this work as part of the school programme.

3. Science versus slurs: The phonics debate

At the end of July, the Australian College of Educators and the Centre for Independent Studies organised a debate. In theory, the debate was about the contention that, “Phonics in context is not enough.” This is not how it proceeded, with those opposed to the motion coming out as dyed-in-the-wool advocates for whole language instruction. It’s pretty informative.

2. I see no behaviour crisis

An Australian researcher seems to think that so-called ‘neo-traditional’ teachers have cooked-up a behaviour crisis in schools in order to serve their nefarious ends. However, if you open your eyes and look, there is plenty of evidence of disruption. What are the causes and possible solutions?

1. If ability grouping is ‘symbolic violence’ then how could it ever be best practice?

A research group that was meant to be objectively researching the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping versus mixed ability teaching released a paper dubbing ability grouping ‘symbolic violence’. I think this post resonated with people because it exposed ghost in the machine of education research.

This is a slightly skewed sample. If you look at the dates, you will see that posts written earlier in the year have the advantage and this is because they have had more time to accumulate hits. However, I hope it gives you a taste of a year in the life of Filling the Pail.

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