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I have to admit that I’m not a fan of rubrics – preferring non-standardised forms of assessment – and perhaps because most of the rubrics I have come across have been pretty terrible. So I thought I’d have a go at developing a better one. ...continue reading "The halfbaked academic rubric"


Do you have to develop a PhD (or maybe even a Masters) thesis?
Is your research qualitative (which can include generating numerical as well as non-numerical data within a relativist approach)?

If you've answered yes to both those questions then this thesis template may be what you have been looking for ... ...continue reading "The halfbaked thesis template"


I have argued elsewhere that (human) learning is the process of becoming part of an enduring collection of people who are mutually engaged in a shared endeavour, they have shared purposes and shared ways of working. In this context, I argued that teaching should involve inducting young people into such communities. However, this clearly creates a problem for schools. ...continue reading "Why traditional schools can never be effective"

NOTE - This post has been superseded by a 2nd draft that adds in a criterion about avoiding using the same assessment for multiple purposes.

We know that summative assessment drives practice in schools. We also know that current forms of summative assessment inhibit both curriculum and pedagogical innovation because of their focus on 'knowledge' (as viewed in a knowledge based curriculum). The challenge is to find new forms of summative assessment which satisfy the criteria against which they will be judged. Those criteria should include: ...continue reading "Characteristics of effective summative assessment"


What is a knowledge based curriculum?

I was in a school recently that described itself as having a 'knowledge-based curriculum'. Walking round the school with the head the key elements of this, which seem to be common across most secondary schools that I have visited, were: ...continue reading "Why is a knowledge based curriculum no longer fit for purpose?"

How do you describe how young people are using digital technology outside school in ways that are concise yet comprehensive enough to allow meaningful comparisons across instances?  ...continue reading "The Digital Practice Framework"


Individual fulfilment and Universal wellbeingIn a previous post I introduced the Yin-Yang Vision (Individual fulfilment and Universal wellbeing), and highlighted the importance of your underlying assumptions for your mission, strategies and intended outcomes. In this post I set out some of the core assumptions underpinning the Yin-Yang Vision and start to unpack the vision by clarifying its key intended outcomes. ...continue reading "Unpacking the Yin-Yang vision"

Michael Merrick (@michael_merrick)
Scratch the surface of the ‘21st century skills’ brigade, & the justification you always seem to get revolves around serving the market/business/tech sector. Which is more dystopian (and properly Gradgrindian) than any school getting a bit over-zealous with a knowledge curriculum

I feel this needs a response of more than 280 characters. So here it is ...  ...continue reading "21st century skills are important because …"

In my previous post on sociocultural theory I attempted to explain the three analytical levels of context (constitutive order, arena, and setting). The setting is about people in action - it is about the interplay between the identities of the people involved and the opportunities made available by the arena.

Your identity is ...continue reading "Trying to explain sociocultural theory – part 2 – identity"


PoL book coverPoint of Learning (PoL) is both a reflective learning tool and a means of collecting evidence about performance against agreed targets.

PoL is an alternative approach to assessment that ...continue reading "What is Point of Learning (PoL) – moving beyond standardised testing"