Top 10 Staffroom Discussions

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Staff Issues

Discussion and professional reflection are at the heart of lively staffrooms. This website opens up many current educational debates. This blog directs you to some of these.

Homework - to be or not to be?

Does homework have a positive effect on learning? This page introduces you to what science tells us and signposts some interesting articles that will spark staffroom debate.

Click Homework - to be or not to be? .

How do we make sure that students are in the driving seat of their own learning?

What does it mean for students to have agency? This page provides you with great articles to stimulate a discussion, together with a collection of Top Tips on how to develop student agency.

Click Agency 

How are subjects different? Are we teaching history | science | economics, or teaching students how to think like historians, scientists and economists?

An introduction to 'signature pedagogies'. How do we induct students into the uniqueness of our subjects - getting them to put on the lens of an expert?

Click Questions that should be at the heart of each subject 

What do you believe about children | students?

Our beliefs about children | students as learners affect how we teach. This page provides 10 prompt questions to encourage a discussion in your staffroom about what we actually believe about our craft: what do we believe about the capacity of each child? | who decides what is to be taught in the classroom? | what role does assessment play? | who should do the heavy lifting?

Click What do you believe about learners? 

What do we know about the brain and how can this help us as teachers?

Learning about how the brain works underlines the importance of many of the IB approaches to teaching and learning. If schooling is about developing thinking then it is important that we have a good understanding of how the brain works and how we can develop its thinking.

Click How do we think? All about the brain 


How do students make sense of our subject?

We expect students to learn and retain a lot of knowledge. But how do we ensure that what we are teaching makes sense to them? One way of engaging students in the big themes of your subject is to structure your curriculum within a carefully thought-out narrative.This page allows staff to discuss what their big storyline is and how they can engage students in it.

Click What is our (subject) story? 

What does a research-informed classroom look like?

In recent years we have learnt a lot from cognitive scientists about how students learn, and what teachers do to ensure that there is a direct link between what they teach and what students learn. This page summarizes this research in the form of practical strategies which you can use in any subject. They are effective strategies for any curriculum, whether it is the IB or a national curriculum.

Click Which teaching strategies are effective? 

How do we make the learning in our lessons memorable?

Note that I use the word 'learning' and not 'teaching'. Whilst students may remember a particularly entertaining lesson this does not mean that they are able to recall the learning. On this page we look at a quick checklist for teachers on how to make learning memorable. It draws on research from cognitive scientists. Teachers are then encouraged to share their practice against each of these tips.

Click How do we make learning memorable? 

Do you have a clear and consistently applied strategy to help students revise for exams?

Here we provide a strategy (Plan, Prepare, Perform), top tips (from IB alumni), and blogs you can use with students to get them thinking about the issues around revision. There are numerous links to other pages which take you to the heart of research on the most effective revision techniques.

Click May Exams - Tips for revision 

Are you internationally minded?

Do you know the pin code of the world? As international educators we are committed to developing international mindedness in our students and staff. But how internationally minded are we? This page introduces you to the work of Hans Rosling and his book Factfulness, "One of the most important books I've ever read - an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world." It will challenge how you think about the world.

Click Are YOU internationally minded? 

Tags: staffroom discussions, key issues, pedagogy


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