Podcast

Harry Fletcher-Wood: Responsive Teaching

This episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast is kindly sponsored by AQA who have launched a Beautiful Maths campaign, aimed at finding way to share the beauty of mathematics with our students. You can find out more by visiting @AQAMaths on Twitter. If you wish to inquire about sponsoring an episode to promote your product, service or event to 1000s of activate, engaged teachers, then drop me an email at [email protected]

On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Harry Fletcher-Wood.

Harry has worked in schools in Japan, India and London, teaching history, organising university applications and leading teacher development.He now works at the Institute for Teaching, where he is designing a course for teacher educators. He blogs regularly at improvingteaching.co.uk and is also author of the book, Ticked Off: Checklists for students, teachers and school leaders

Harry has a brand new book – Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice. I have been lucky enough to read it, and it is outstanding. Our conversation was structured around the contents of the book, and we took some trips to some fascinating locations, including:

  • What was Harry’s relationship with maths like at school?
  • What did Harry learn from his favourite failure?
  • What 3 confusions did Harry hold for much of his teaching career, and how did they manifest themselves in his lessons?
  • We discuss knowledge organisers and what are the features of a good one?
  • Why do we need lesson objectives, and again what separates the good from the bad?
  • How on earth do we promote metacognition in our students?
  • What are the features of a good Exit Ticket, and how do we stop them simply adding to our workload?
  • Why is Harry just as obsessed as me with hinge or diagnostic questions, and how does he respond to common criticisms of them?
  • And then we discuss marking and feedback – how do we make what we write as teachers as effective as possible, and then how do we ensure our students actually act upon it
  • How would Harry help a department become a professional learning community, so that it feels like a choice instead of being forced?
  • How can teachers develop good habits, and actually stuck to them?
  • What makes for effective CPD?
  • And what does Harry wish he’d known when he first started teaching that he knows now?

This is one of my favourite ever interviews. I have been a fan of Harry’s work for years. His use of summarising research on Twitter in particular is incredible, and quite a few former guests have cited that very thing in their Big 3s. Talking to Harry was an absolute pleasure, and I hope this is an episode that you can share with your non-maths colleagues, as all of the ideas Harry discusses are applicable no matter what subject you teach, Indeed, some of the ideas on first glance may appear to be more suited to subjects such as English and History than maths, but I don’t think that is the case, and it is something I discuss with Harry and follow-up in my Takeaway at the end of the interview, which includes my new favourite way to mark and give feedback to students.

Obviously, if you buy one book as a result of this episode, make it Responsive Teaching. But if you are interested in reading about 12 years of maths teaching mistakes, then maybe take a chance on my book, “How I wish I’d taught maths”, available from all good and evil book stores. And thanks so much to all of you who have bought and reviewed the book. It means the world to me.

Harry Fletcher-Wood’s Big 3:
1. Robert Slavin’s blog
2. Behaviour insights team blog
3. To follow on Twitter: Rue Stenning – @mrroobkk

On Twitter Harry is @HFletcherWood
Harry’s blog is improvingteaching.co.uk
The Michael Pershan blog post I discuss in the Takeaway is here
Harry’s book, Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice, is available on Amazon here 

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

I am a maths teacher, currently teaching at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, UK. Here are links to some of my work:
mrbartonnmaths.com
Mr Barton Maths Blog
Twitter: @mrbartonmaths
Diagnostic Questions
Mr Barton Maths Podcast
My book: How I wish I’d taught maths

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