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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 184 x 254mm
Pages : 240
ISBN : 9781781352113
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2014

Curated by Rachel Jones, Don't Change the Light Bulbs offers tips and hints on how to be the best teacher you can be, and is written by some of the most respected leaders in education today. It covers primary, secondary and post-16 phases, in addition to cross curricular sections on leadership, ICT, inclusion, creativity, SEN and tutoring. It also presents the practical advice of those who have been there and done it and who now want to share their collective wisdom with you. The aim of which is to make education better, not just in your classroom but for everyone.

A useful and inspirational book, it can be read straight through, or dipped in and out of for subject specific advice. A one-stop shop to inspire, invigorate and re-energise teachers and leaders alike, it's comprehensively written and covers an exceptional subject breadth. There is something for everyone, as it provides hints and ideas from both sides of the knowledge/skills debate, and challenges the perceived divide between primary and secondary pedagogy. Don't Change the Light Bulbs will provoke discussion, not only over its useful ideas, but also because of how it seeks to rethink the way we see imagined dichotomies in education. The wise words found within its pages will inspire your teaching, encouraging and supporting you, whilst you are stimulated to think outside of the classroom walls.

For use by, and of interest to, everyone involved in the education sector.

Contributors include:

  • John Tomsett @Johntomsett
  • @Chocotzar
  • Sarah Findlater @Msfindlater
  • Dan Williams @Furtheredagogy
  • Stephen Lockyer @Mrlockyer
  • Daniel Harvey @Danielharvey9
  • Ross Morrison McGill @Teachertoolkit
  • Chris Deakin @Sociologyheaven
  • Gwen Nelson @Gwenelope
  • Mathew Pullen @Mat6453
  • Amy Harvey @Ms_Jamdangory
  • Alex Quigley @Huntingenglish
  • Phil Stock @Joeybagstock
  • Steve Wheeler @Timbuckteeth
  • Andrew Day @Andyphilipday
  • Pete Jones @Pekabelo
  • Dan Leighton @Danhleighton
  • Amjad Ali @Astsupportaali
  • Tom Sherrington @Headguruteacher
  • Steph Ladbrooke @Learnbuzz
  • Jill Berry @Jillberry102
  • Year 3 Pupil, Finley
  • Julia Skinner @Theheads Office
  • @Itsmotherswork
  • Year 9 Pupil, Dylan @Book_Worm39
  • Alan O'Donohoe @Teknoteacher
  • Dave Andress @Profdaveandress
  • Mary Myatt @Marymyatt
  • Emma Payne @Emma_Payneht
  • Andy Lewis @Iteachre
  • Chris Chivers @Chrischivers2
  • Jon Tait @Teamtait
  • Amy Kennett @Amykennett
  • Ian Gilbert @Thatiangilbert
  • Martin Illingworth @Martinillingwor
  • David Rogers @Daviderogers
  • @H_Metal_Leader
  • Jim Smith @Thelazyteacher
  • Mark Anderson @Ictevangelist
  • Ben Waldram @Mrwaldram
  • Shaun Allison @Shaun_Allison
  • Harry Fletcher-Wood @Hfletcherwood
  • Tim Taylor @Imagineinquiry
  • Iesha Small @Ieshasmall
  • Hywel Roberts @Hywel_Roberts
  • Rachel Orr @Rachelorr
  • Martin Burrett @Ictmagic
  • Kev Bartle @Kevbartle
  • Thomas Starkey @Tstarkey1212
  • @Teachertweaks
  • Jo Baker @Jobaker9
  • David Fawcett @Davidfawcett27 And
  • Jenn Ludgate @Missjlud
  • Jan Baker @Janbaker97
  • Sue Cowley @Sue_Cowley
  • Andrew Old @Oldandrewuk
  • Lisa Fernandez Adams @Lisafernandez78
  • @Cazzypot
  • @Bergistra
  • Rob Ward @Pgceng
  • Lisa Jane Ashes @Lisajaneashes
  • Nina Jackson @Musicmind
  • Debra Kidd @Debrakidd
  • Rachel Jones @Rlj1981
  • Chris Waugh @Edutronic_Net
  • David Blow @Dtblow
  • Amelia Stone @Revells7
  • Martyn Reah @Martynreah
  • Stephen Logan @Stephen_Logan
  • Scott Hayden @Bcotmedia
  • Vic Goddard @Vicgoddard

Picture for author Dr. Debra Kidd

Dr. Debra Kidd

Debra Kiddtaught for 23 years in primary, secondary and higher education settings. She is the author of three previous books - Teaching: Notes from the Front Line, Becoming Mobius and Uncharted Territories - and believes more than anything else that 'the secret to great teaching is to make it matter'. Debra has a doctorate in education and co-founded and organised Northern Rocks, one of the largest annual teaching and learning conferences in the UK.

View Debra's profile in Schools Week, October 2014.

Click here to listen in on Debra's podcast with Pivotal Education on 'teaching, learning and politics'.

Click here to watch a video interview with Debra as part of The Education Foundation's series of Education Britain Conversations.

Picture for author Harry Fletcher-Wood

Harry Fletcher-Wood

Harry Fletcher-Wood taught in Japan and India before training with Teach First and spending six years in London schools. During this time he taught history, organised university applications and was a head of department. Most recently, his increasing interest in the fine detail of teacher improvement led to him taking responsibility for continuing professional development within his school and teacher-training with Teach for Sweden. His current role involves researching teaching to help improve Teach First's effectiveness. He blogs regularly at improvingteaching.co.uk and tweets sporadically as @hfletcherwood.

Picture for author Hywel Roberts

Hywel Roberts

Hywel Roberts has taught in secondary, primary and special settings for almost 30 years. He contributes to university education programmes and writes regularly for TES as the ‘travelling teacher’. A true Northerner, Hywel deals in botheredness, creative practice, curriculum development and imagineering. He was recently described as ‘a world leader in enthusiasm’ and his first book, Oops! Helping Children Learn Accidentally, is a favourite among teachers. Hywel is a much sought-after educational speaker, an Independent Thinking Associate and has contributed to events worldwide. He also contributes fiction to prison-based literacy reading programmes developed by The Shannon Trust and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Picture for author Ian Gilbert

Ian Gilbert

Since establishing Independent Thinking 25 years ago, Ian Gilbert has made a name for himself across the world as a highly original writer, editor, speaker, practitioner and thinker, and is someone who the IB World magazine has referred to as one of the world's leading educational visionaries.

The author of several books, and the editor of many more, Ian is known by thousands of teachers and young people across the world for his award-winning Thunks books. Thunks grew out of Ian's work with Philosophy for Children (P4C), and are beguiling yet deceptively powerful little philosophical questions that he has created to make children's – as well as their teachers' – brains hurt.

Ian's growing collection of bestselling books has a more serious side too, without ever losing sight of his trademark wit and straight-talking style. The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools, born from personal family experience, is finding a home in schools across the world, and The Working Class – a massive collaborative effort he instigated and edited – is making a genuine difference to the lives of young people from some of the poorest backgrounds.

A unique writer and editor, there is no other voice like Ian Gilbert's in education today.

See for yourself.

Ian was winner of The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society's inaugural Educational Writers Award (Nov 2008) for 'The Little Book of Thunks' - Click here for more information on the book.

Re-framing the Education Debate with Independent Thinker, Ian Gilbert.

Click here to read Ian Gilbert’s blog.

Click here to read Ian's article in International Teacher Magazine.

Picture for author Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Jim Smith, the laziest (yet still professional) teacher in town, is a head of school, education consultant, Independent Thinking Associate, speaker and bestselling author.

Picture for author John Tomsett

John Tomsett

John Tomsett has been a teacher since 1988 and a head teacher since 2003. He is head teacher at Huntington School, York. Tomsett writes a blog called This much I know, and is a regular contributor to the TES. He co-founded The Headteachers' Roundtable think tank and is a popular speaker on school leadership. He is determined to remain a classroom teacher, despite the demands of headship, and believes that developing truly great teaching is the main responsibility of all head teachers.

Click here to read John's article for Schools Week ' We can turn the tidal wave of mental health problems'.

Click here to read John's interview with The Ofi Press.

Picture for author Lisa Jane Ashes

Lisa Jane Ashes

Lisa Jane Ashes is an experienced professional development provider for all things teaching and learning. Lisa has worked in many school-based roles, ranging from classroom support to leadership, and her ability to create collaborative curriculums that allow all learning to be taken forward, used and improved comes from her many and varied experiences in schools.

Click here to listen to Lisa on the Pivotal Podcast.

Click here to read Lisa's article on Innovate my School.

Click here to read Lisa Jane Ashes' blog.


Picture for author Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark is a former assistant headteacher, lead teacher for ICT, a successful head of computing (before it was trendy) and a driving force behind one of the UK's most successful iPad 1:1 initiatives. Mark is an influential award-winning blogger, bestselling author and international speaker. Recently recognised as the most influential person in education technology in Europe and the winner of the Education Blog of the Year 2015' in the UK Blog Awards 2015.

Championing the importance of a pedagogy first approach to using technology in the classroom, Mark's book Perfect ICT Every Lesson has topped the Amazon education book chart twice. Mark is also an Independent Thinking Associate and has significantly contributed to many more best-selling books and education publications. With more than 20 years classroom experience and responsible for some of the UK's most innovative and creative teaching practice; Mark is a passionate advocate for developing the modern educator's toolkit. Mark regularily writes about education in the leadership section of the TES. See more here.

Click here to read Mark's article on InnovateMySchool.

Click here to listen in on Mark's podcast with Pivotal Education - How not to waste money on tech'.

Click here to watch a video interview with Mark as part of The Education Foundation's series of Education Britain Conversations.

Click here to read Mark Anderson’s blog.


Picture for author Martin Illingworth

Martin Illingworth

An English specialist with over twenty years' teaching experience, Martin Illingworth is a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University with responsibility for English and drama PGCE. As an Independent Thinking Associate he has delivered keynote speeches and workshops across the UK, and has also worked internationally ' undertaking research in Cairo, Egypt, and at the University of Toronto in Canada.

Picture for author Nina Jackson

Nina Jackson

Nina Jackson is an international education consultant who has a breathtaking grasp of what makes classrooms, children and their teachers tick. She's a leading practitioner in all areas of teaching and learning with particular expertise in special educational needs, digital technology and mental and emotional health. She has transformed learning and teaching in some of the most challenging schools in the UK as well as working extensively with schools on the international circuit.

An accredited Apple Teacher, winner of the IPDA International Prize for Education and described by the TES as an inspirational, evangelical preacher of education', Nina is a tour-de-force when it comes to enlivening teaching and learning for all.

Nina is one of the happiest, most effervescent personalities in education today and puts her own learning, and the learning of others, at the heart of everything she believes in.

Ninjas and Sherbet Lemons ' Nina Jackson in the Time Out Room ' PP179

Click here to read Nina Jackson’s blog.

Picture for author Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones, who loves sharing ideas, is a Google Certified Teacher interested in creativity and innovation in the classroom. She thrives on trying new things and engaging and empowering students. Her blog was a finalist in the 2013 EduBlog awards and was recommended by The Guardian as a must-read for 2014. Rachel is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and a lively contributor on Twitter @rlj1981. She also curated Don't Change the Light Bulbs; a must-read anthology of mantras, lists, aphorisms, advice and activities from some of the UK's most switched-on educators.

Picture for author Shaun Allison

Shaun Allison

Shaun Allison started teaching science in West Sussex, before becoming a head of science. He is currently deputy head teacher at Durrington High School. He leads on CPD and is interested in supporting teachers to grow and develop their classroom practice. He is also a popular speaker.

Click here to read Shaun Allison’s blog.

Picture for author Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler is a Learning Innovations Consultant and former Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the Plymouth Institute of Education where he chaired the Learning Futures group and led the Computing and science education teams. He continues to research into technology supported learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, and also has research interests in mobile learning and cybercultures. He has given keynotes to audiences in more than 35 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 6000 academic citations. An active and prolific edublogger, his blog Learning with e's is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education, learning and development. In the last few years it has attracted in excess of seven million unique visitors.

Click here to read Steve Wheeler’s blog.

Picture for author Vic Goddard

Vic Goddard

Vic Goddard is the Principal of Passmores Academy and star of the BAFTA nominated Channel 4 documentary Educating Essex. He is a proud South Londoner, having been raised on a council estate then going on to train as a PE teacher and eventually becoming the nation's best-loved Headmaster thanks to his undeniable dedication to his school and the young people inside it.

Watch Vic Goddard on Channel 4 - Educating Essex.

Read Vic's article Is your leadership child-centred?' on SecEd's website.

Vic Goddard's Teacher Blog for The Guardian Online.

Read Vic's interview with The Guardian Education April 2014.

Read Vic's interview with The Sunday Telegraph May 2014.

Read Vic's profile from Schools Week.

Vic Goddard on How to Educate Essex, Ofsted, Overtesting'and more!


  1. This book collects together the thoughts and observations of over 71 people in education. These are each a little longer than the bite-sized comments typical of Twitter - I understand that they were curated from Google+ discussions. Being longer than 140 characters makes them "meaty" without being too long.

    In total around 70 topics are covered, not all of them curricular. For example there is a section for the senior leadership team, and another for student voice in the secondary school.

    The book is very readable and enjoyable, for several reasons.

    First, it's good to have the insights of such a wide range of people, and from such a wide range of areas of expertise. It's always good to hear the opinions of others, especially of people you may not have come across before.

    Second, many of the comments are worth reading, and based on real classroom experience.

    Third, the variety of formats in which the sections are presented adds another layer of variety.

    I have a few niggles, though.

    First, I'm not sure of the rationale behind the organisation of the chapters. If it was to create a sort of "lucky dip" effect, then that has been achieved very well. Some topics, such as SOLO and Assessment for Learning, might logically be considered to go together. Alternatively, listing the topics in alphabetical order might have been an option, or separating curriculum subjects from cross-curricular issue. It's not a deal-breaker, so to speak, merely disconcerting.

    Second, some of the comments come across as assertions. Well, I suppose many of them do, but some grate with me more than others. (For instance, why is it assumed that the trope of "Three before me", ie use three other sources of information, including your friends, before asking the teacher, is actually a good thing to do? What if the people you ask are just as clueless as you are?)

    Another thing that I thought at first was a turn-off is that if you are a subject teacher, a great deal of the book would be irrelevant to you. However, when I found myself agreeing with some people whose subject area is completely different from my own, I started to have my doubts about my initial judgement. When I found myself thinking "What a great idea. I wonder if that would work in a Computing lesson.", I realised that I had been completely wrong. I now believe that being able to "dip into" the wisdom and experience of people from so many different fields so easily is potentially very beneficial. You just need to be willing to think about how the observations could be applied in your own situation.

    If you manage a team, you could use many of the points as a discussion starter in team meetings. Another use for the book would be to stimulate your thinking if you're stumped for something new to try.

    It's the sort of book that you could open at random, and be almost certain to find something you can use.
  2. I'm not sure how to describe this book. 

    I'm torn between -˜it's my Twitter feed written down' and comparing it to the one of those shiny metal boxes in films that, when opened, a cloud of gas escapes which dissipates to reveal rows of test tubes of coloured liquid, each one affecting the human who consumes it in different ways. 

    Maybe these two possible descriptions aren't so far apart. This book takes nuggets of pedagogical gold, many from legends of the educational Twitterverse, and presents them to you on a plate.  When consumed (not literally of course, unless -˜internalising' means something different to you) they stimulate, provoke, challenge and excite. Unfortunately I haven't found one that will re-grow my missing hair but I'll keep re-reading just in case.

    What I really enjoy about this collection is that dipping in and out is as effective and enjoyable as reading from the front to the back. The format of numbered lists, with each -˜tip' having it's own design, makes them really accessible and bite-sized.  Just reading one tip is not as easy as it sounds though, as the -˜just one more...' mentality kicks in and you'll find hours pass by unnoticed, but you'll be buzzing to get into school.

    And really, that's the fundamental point of this book. It's aim is to inspire and help us all to be better at what we do. And it does. What it doesn't claim to be is a magic bullet or a panacea; the contributors have most likely never met the learners you work with. Instead, the tips, tricks, thoughts and opinions will challenge us all to adapt and improve by applying them to our own situations.

    If you're looking for an easy to read source of inspiration that you can gain something from, in the time it takes to drink a teacher's coffee, then this is the book for you.
  3. With the increasing emphasis within education at all levels on identifying and sharing effective practice this book is an absolute gem. It is full of inspiring ideas and examples of the “We did-¦You can” philosophy of promoting more effective practice. After the initial read of the text I particularly liked the 10 points of John Tomsetts (professional practice) , Mathew Pullen (Sport and PE), and Phil Stock (Assessment for Learning).  On subsequent returns to a really inspiring text I have found additional ideas and stimulation from a range of other excellent practitioners. This book will be a vital addition for all CPD directors and subject leaders keen to promote more effective teaching, learning and achievement.
  4. The internet is great, Isn't it? So many talented, knowledgeable and experienced individuals sharing their thoughts, opinions and ideas; it's an incredible resource for any educator. At the same time, though, It can be a daunting prospect. The sheer volume of material that's available is Immense-and of course, not all of it will be relevant, or of reasonable quality. Simply browsing to find something worthwhile in the first place can take more time than the average teacher has on her hands, so wouldn't it be great if someone could do it on our behalf? This 'compendium of expertise' offers exactly that service, gathering together some of the brightest and most respected educational thinkers around and presenting their words of wisdom on all , aspects of pedagogical theory and practice in one, handy paperback. It's a kind of tasting menu, In a way-enabling you to find what you like before venturing online for the full banquet-and , also an opportunity for a fun game of 'spot the Teach Secondary contributor' ...
  5. Back when I was a trainee teacher my eyes were continually drawn to the large shelves looming behind my professional mentor, crammed with their favourite teaching books. Forever wondering how they found time to read such texts (let alone which to prioritise) the same issues today appear ever more relevant, with teachers also reading blogs and websites, as well as the potential delights of social media. Seeking to throw some light (apologies for the pun) on these considerations, Don't change the light bulbs is a compilation of short, focused contributions written collaboratively by teachers working across the UK, the majority of whom are particularly active in tweeting and blogging about the profession. The format is straightforward for busy teachers, with each author sharing a ten-point guide in their chosen field of expertise or interest. Included are core educational topics (eg creativity, questioning, maths, science, primary) but the curator, Rachel Jones - herself a teacher and avid blogger - has widened the book's scope, allowing the authors to contribute on more unusual topics, such as bottom-up leadership or running school assemblies. This leads to a stimulating read on all aspects of school life.
    With such lofty ambitions I was naturally fearful the project's execution might not match its intended impact and the overall results wouldn't be cohesive given so many differing viewpoints. The final result, however, is good. Very good in fact.
    Although it does feel on the pricey side at Â'£25, and whilst some will always criticise the notion of distilling advice into a series of concise sections, it does make the format very accessible and allows each author to really convey their own expertise, with many indicating further links for future exploration. The overall result is an engaging glimpse into the classrooms and minds of some of the country's most motivated and talented teachers, balancing creative solutions that you can attempt in tomorrow's lesson with wider insight and contextual points. Reading the book over a number of days I often found myself pausing to look into the various links suggested, or trying to suppress a grin as I discovered a couple of gems I hadn't heard before.
    Frequently these ideas came from subject areas I don't know well. There are, of course, references I had heard before and yes, there was the odd repetition between overlapping chapters, but this didn't detract from the overall experience of teachers writing passionately about their craft.
    Notable credit should go to the publishers who allowed these voices to be presented authentically and un-edited (-˜This is porn for geography teachers' perhaps being the most obvious example).
    Such frankness won't be to everyone's taste but if you're looking for exciting, stimulating ideas from excited and stimulated teachers telling you what they think and what works, then you'll love this. My final point concerns the authors themselves. Much of their advice really is first-rate but what stood out above even that, was the commitment they displayed for teachers supporting each other and developing as a community. Many raved about the benefit they had gained from blogging or engaging with Twitter, and I lost track of the occasions authors took time to deliberately credit their points to other collaborators. Along with each article, the author also included their Twitter handle - thus giving an open invitation for readers to collaborate. This is important as it positions the book as a stimulus to teachers - something that is always vital. But, perhaps more importantly, it makes the book an accessible starting point for teachers wanting to gain the benefits of our most active online communities.
  6. Rachel Jones is an emerging voice in the world of education, especially via social medial. She has edited this collection of hints and tips for teachers, covering all aspects of teaching, including leadership, inclusion, special educational needs, etc. It is a resource to be dipped into as needed for new ideas on how to engage with students.

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