Making Every Lesson Count

Six principles to support great teaching and learning

By: Shaun Allison , Andy Tharby


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Size: 216 x 135mm

Pages : 292

ISBN : 9781845909734

Format: Hardback

Published: May 2015


This award-winning title has now inspired a whole series of books. Each of the books in the series are held together by six pedagogical principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – and provide simple, realistic strategies that teachers can use to develop the teaching and learning in their classroom.

Packed with practical teaching strategies, Making Every Lesson Count bridges the gap between research findings and classroom practice. Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby examine the evidence behind what makes great teaching and explore how to implement this in the classroom to make a difference to learning. They distil teaching and learning down into six core principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – and show how these can inspire an ethos of excellence and growth, not only in individual classrooms but across a whole school too.

Combining robust evidence from a range of fields with the practical wisdom of experienced, effective classroom teachers, the book is a complete toolkit of strategies that teachers can use every lesson to make that lesson count. There are no gimmicky ideas here – just high impact, focused teaching that results in great learning, every lesson, every day. To demonstrate how attainable this is, the book contains a number of case studies from a number of professionals who are successfully embedding a culture of excellence and growth in their schools. Making Every Lesson Count offers an evidence-informed alternative to restrictive Ofsted-driven definitions of great teaching, empowering teachers to deliver great lessons and celebrate high-quality practice.

Suitable for all teachers – including trainee teachers, NQTs, and experienced teachers – who want quick and easy ways to enhance their practice and make every lesson count.

 

Educational Book Award winner 2016
Educational Book Award winner 2016

Judges' comments: 'A highly practical and interesting resource with loads of information and uses to support and inspire teachers of all levels of experience. An essential staffroom book.-

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.


Picture for author Andy Tharby

Andy Tharby

Andy Tharby is a practising English teacher with over a decade's classroom experience at a secondary school in West Sussex. He is co-author of the award winning Making Every Lesson Count and the author of Making Every English Lesson Count. Andy is also interested in helping fellow teachers enhance their practice through engagement with research evidence.

Read Andy's guest blog post for The Times Educational Supplement.


Reviews

  1. Synopsis: Packed with practical strategies and case studies, Making Every Lesson Count: Six Principles to Support Great Teaching and Learning bridges the gap between research findings and classroom practice. Authors Shaun Allison (Deputy Head Teacher at a large comprehensive school in \Vest Sussex) and Andy Tharby (a practicing English teacher with nine years of classroom experience at a secondary school in West Sussex) collaborate to examine the evidence behind what makes great teaching, and how to implement this in the classroom to make a difference to learning. Using case studies from a number of schools, Making Every Lesson Count demonstrates how an ethos of excellence and growth can be built through high-quality classroom practice. Combining robust evidence from a range of fields with the practical wisdom of experienced, effective classroom teachers, Making Every Lesson Count is a must-read for trainee teachers, experienced teachers wishing to enhance their practice, and school leaders looking for an evidence-based alternative to restrictive test-driven definitions of great teaching. Making Every Lesson Count is a kind of do-it-yourself toolkit of strategies that teachers can use every lesson to make that lesson count. No gimmicky teaching - just high impact and focused teaching that results in great learning, every lesson, every day.

    Critique: Informed and informative, practical and insightful, and above all, -˜real-world' pertinent in commentary, organization and presentation, Making Every Lesson Count: Six Principles to Support Great Teaching and Leaming is extraordinarily -˜user friendly' and should be considered a -˜must read' for all who are new to classroom teaching and has a great deal to offer by way of a refreshing and useful review for even the more experienced classroom instructor. Making Every Lesson Count: Six Principles to Support Great Teaching and Leaming is very highly recommended for academic library Teacher Instruction reference collections and supplemental studies lists.
  2. Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby have utilised their vast experience at a very successful school to offer six evidence informed pedagogical principles which they consider have the greatest impact on learning outcomes for students. The discussions on the key principles of challenge, explanation, modelling, engagement in practice and feedback offer the reader a wealth of down to earth ideas focused on planning, delivery and assessment strategies.

    The book abounds with realistic and practical advice with excellent sections on sharing excellence, benchmarking brilliance, direct challenge, explanation and modelling. It will provide inspirational reading for those contemplating entering teaching and those already treading the boards to gain the additional skills of delivery of learning and promoting positive student attitudes to facing the challenge of raising performance.
  3. Packed with practical strategies and case studies, this book combines research with wisdom from experienced teachers to explore what makes great teaching and how to implement it in the classroom.
  4. The authors examine the evidence on what makes great teaching and offer classroom strategies.
  5. The clarity, precision, deftness and authenticity of this book make it an essential addition to any teacher's professional library. The strategies suggested are grounded solidly in research and steeped in wisdom and experience. And the illustrations genuinely add to the unfolding narrative. A gem.
  6. 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, Lemov, 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.

    What is so impressive about this text is that it peels back some of the conventional -˜wisdom', for example on differentiation. In their skilled hands they show how far this is from preparing different worksheets for different groups of students. Instead, they show how to differentiate through questions, precise feedback in the classroom and above all through showing what excellence looks like. And they dispose of that superficial notion of differentiating through lesson objectives being expressed as -˜most, all, some.' Instead, they propose setting expectations high and response to genuine needs as they arise. -˜You experiment with the most suitable strategy to hoist each individual child up'. Not easy, but worth it. 

    And they make excellence work visible, not just in the classroom but around the school. Mounting work in frames both celebrates and showcases what is possible. Similarly they explain how important it is to have medium and long-term aims in which lessons should be considered as building blocks. -˜Too often, we can become obsessed with the details of individual lessons, when in fact they are only parts of a greater whole.' Quite right.

    What is particularly helpful about this book is that each idea is shown in practice how it might work, often scripted from examples from their own lessons. Everything from unpacking hinge questions, solo taxonomy, live modelling, exploring -˜what am I doing, why am I doing it?'

    Then, there's a great section on speaking and the place in securing understanding for all students, but particularly for disadvantaged groups. The importance of practice, missing things up, appropriate feedback, how to support students with making their comments kind, specific and helpful. Too often, in too many classrooms, it stops at the kind. 



    And finally, that turbo-driving strategy for meaningful conversations in classrooms: Socratic questioning. Well, well worth a read. For every teacher in every school.
  7. 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. A book which speaks to professionals, structured around 6 core principles, anchored in a wealth of experience and evidence. 

    I wish I had been given this book when I first started teaching, but actually, I think it addresses experienced teachers just as much if not more. It provides nuanced discussions, effective strategies, and bravely ends each chapter with a section asking difficult questions, considering the potential pitfalls.

    The tone is set in the introduction when the phrase 'independent learning' is tackled head on. I was sold there and then! Their approach also considers how valid principles have led to unreasonable school policies and how to avoid that, inviting curriculum leaders to pause and think before considering launching new initiatives which might counter-productively impact on teacher workload, thereby causing more harm than good. All the chapters dissect aspects of classroom practice with verve and wisdom, ending with a chapter looking at embedding the core principles at a whole school level - with a lucid discussion of the clear need for more effective CPD. 



    This is truly the kind of book you will want to share with all your colleagues. Thank you, Shaun and Andy. This book was needed!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. '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.

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