#082 Mark McCourt: the return! Teaching for mastery

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This episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast is proudly sponsored by LIME.

LIME stands for Leaders Improving Maths Education. It is completely free Maths specific CPD which started in Oldham in 2014 and now has Lime Oldham, Lime Blackburn and LIME Salford
For further information please go to limecpd.co.uk and click on events to find the sessions local to you
Follow us on twitter @LIMEOldham, @LIMEBwD and @limesalford


On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast I spoke to Mark McCourt.

Mark has done it all, being a former classroom teacher, AST, Head of Department, Senior Leader, Headteacher, Ofsted Inspector, Director of the NCETM, Founder of the Teacher Development Trust, creator of emaths, and now CEO of La Salle Education, which amongst other things give us the wonderful MathsConfs

Now, regular listeners of the show will be aware that this is Mark’s second appearance on the podcast. During the first – back in 2016 – he made quite a few outlandish claims, my personal favourite of which was that he had never marked a book in his life. And having listened back to this conversation, I am pleased to report that he was just getting warmed up.

So, in a wide ranging challenging and fascinating conversation, Mark and I discussed the following things, and plenty more besides:

  • Mark gives us an overview of this history of Mastery, and chastises me for claiming it is being talked about more in the last few years than at any other point in my career. And, dear listeners, you will be pleased to know this is not the only time Mark chastises me in this conversation.
  • Mark introduces the concept of a Learning Episode, and the 4 phases that comprise it
  • We discuss Example-Problem Pairs, Low-Stakes Quizzes and Variation Theory
  • What is bridging, and why am I not convinced by it?
  • Then we play a game of “tell us your thoughts on”, and Mark is in sparkling form as we discuss everything from Starters, to mock exams, to schemes of work.

Mark is one of my favourite educationalists. I always learn something, whether I am listening to him run a workshop, enjoying a beer with him, or reading his tweets. I find hm challenging… mostly in a good way. I loved this conversation, and I hope you will enjoy it too.

On Twitter, Mark is: @EmathsUK
Mark blogs at emaths.co.uk/index.php/blog
His book, Teaching for Mastery is available here

My usual plugs:

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

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