Search Results for: Motivation and emotion

Motivation and emotion

What makes kids motivated? And how can teachers and senior leaders get all kids working hard? In a five-post series, I’m exploring a few different ways of thinking about these questions. Last week, I borrowed from game theory and behavioural … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 15 Comments

The Signal and The Noise: The Blogosphere in 2014

It felt like the blogosphere increased in ‘noise’ in 2014. The Echo Chamber went from under 2,000 blogposts in 2013 to over 6,000 in 2014. Teacher voice online is proliferating, spurred on by the astonishing energy of the edubloggers’ commander-in-chief, … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 7 Comments

Motivation and peer pressure

        Odysseus faced the peril of the Sirens and their irresistible song. He told his men to fill their ears with wax so they would not be tempted by the music, and to tie him to the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 4 Comments

Motivation and instruction

Why do some kids arrive at secondary school already motivated to work hard, while some arrive demotivated to exert much effort at all in lessons? Picture two students you’ve taught: one who works incredibly hard, and one who seems incredibly lacklustre … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 22 Comments


I’m a deputy headteacher, focusing on how to improve the culture, curriculum and teaching in schools.   Psychology Cognitive Psychology Why students forget Science of learning Science of memory Three applications of cognitive science Moral psychology Psychology of self-control   … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Leave a comment

Why aren’t rewards working?

“Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.” Lewis Carroll’s Dodo, Alice in Wonderland Reward systems hold the promise of digital tracking of students’ effort and decisions in lessons. But sometimes they backfire, as this teacher points out: “When the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 15 Comments

A guide to this blog

I’m a Deputy Headteacher. I write about teaching, research, curriculum and assessment, teacher training, leadership and the education system. A knowledge-led school Which knowledge? Knowledge transmission Knowledge organisers A 5-year revision plan Workload Marking Renewable Resources Drill and Thrill Mnemonics Pupil … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 4 Comments

Lead like an All Black

Taringa whakarongo! Let your ears listen! Kapa o Pango kia whakawhenua au i ahau! All Blacks, let me become one with the land! Ko Aotearoa e ngunguru nei! This is our land that rumbles! Au, au, aue hā! It’s our … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 5 Comments

How willpower works: the science of self-control

  David Blaine spent 35 hours on a 80-foot pillar just 22 inches wide, without a safety harness, fighting hallucinations and the urge to nod off (and fall to his death). He spent 63 sleepless hours in a giant block … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Student Culture | 16 Comments

What makes great teaching?

Great teaching combines effective instruction with continuous improvement. If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 31 Comments