Last July, Shaun Allison and I started upon a project. We wanted to write an accessible, readable book for classroom teachers, whatever their subject. We wanted to cut through the myths that surround education to focus on some core principles for teaching and learning that could be adapted to fit a range of teaching contexts. We wanted the book to be founded on strong evidence yet not to lose sight of the wisdom of experienced teachers.
And so Making every lesson count was conceived. The book looks at the practical ways ordinary teachers can foster a spirit of excellence and growth through everyday classroom practice. We have been helped along the way by many others from the edu-Twitter world – Dan Brinton, Pete Jones and Chris Hildrew have all written about how they have put the principles to work in their schools. Our friend Jason Ramasami has brilliantly brought the book to life through his illustrations.
We are very proud of what we have achieved and, this week, have received the first pre-publication reviews, all written by educators who have really inspired us. We have been thrilled by the response so far. Here’s a flavour of them:
This book is seriously good. Oh I wish I had written it! It adheres to all the common sense approaches to teaching that matter, paring back practice to some universally acknowledged teaching techniques which have lasted for millennia. It also smacks of the here and now of pedagogic practice, as it is rooted in research-based evidence, yet it is imbued with the huge professional knowledge of its authors. What I know about what works in the classroom is boiled down between the covers of this fine book. As Shaun and Andy make clear, ‘Exemplary teachers are not born great, they become great’. I find it hard to imagine how reading this book couldn’t help you become a better teacher; recommended without reservation!
This is a great book. I could have done with this at every stage of my career. It is grounded in common sense, firmly rooted in the realities of the classroom, triangulated with some great researchers and thinkers both in education and beyond. From Socrates, to Berger, Lemov, Dweck, Willingham, Heath, drawing on the expertise of the colleagues they work with and above all their own experience, it is all here. And it’s beautifully illustrated by Jason Ramasani.
I hadn’t read an ‘edu’ book with such glee in a long time. No gimmicks there. No patronising. No box-ticking. No magic bullet. The antithesis to the ‘Ofsted wants’ approach (or what we were led to believe they wanted). Just a clear, coherent vision to help create an ethos of excellence and growth in our classrooms and our schools. A book which speaks to professionals, structured around 6 core principles, anchored in a wealth of experience and evidence. Heck, they even provide the sources of evidence they draw from so that you can read them yourself.
‘Making every lesson count’ should help new and experienced teachers to do just that. It offers practical advice on how we can focus on “simple truths” in order to ensure that great teaching leads to genuine learning. Drawing on what research evidence suggests, what they have learnt from inspirational colleagues and, most importantly, from their own practice as serving teachers, Shaun and Andy offer a carefully structured analysis of how teachers and school leaders can create a climate within which excellence and growth will take root and flourish. I’d recommend this to anyone who is committed to being their best within the classroom.
Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby have produced a rare thing: a book on teaching and learning that is useful and accessible for pretty much every teacher. The book synthesises a plethora of great ideas and sound evidence from around the educational world and distils it into usable knowledge for busy teachers. Clearly, it is a book written by knowledgeable and expert teachers who understand what their fellow teachers need to develop their practice and make their lessons count. The readable style is a rare treat and I gobbled this book up in no time, confident in the knowledge that I will be revisiting it often.
Andy and Shaun have beautifully weaved together multiple components of a teacher’s craft with research, inspiration and experience. They highlight six core fundamentals that make up the day to day practice of the profession and put each meticulously under the microscope. What they reveal are a number of principles for each and dissect them to reveal the essence of great teaching – not what observers want, not what third parties want, but what actually matters for learning and our students. The book ties in case studies, evidence and anecdotes that help the reader make meaningful changes that promote growth and excellence in their classroom. If I was to write a book myself, I’d want it to be exactly like this.
If you would like to pre-order the book, due for publication in September, please click here. Thanks for reading. Andy and Shaun