Product reviews for Best of the Best: Progress

Ruth James, Mathematical Association, January: Spring 2018 Volume 22 Issue No.1.
The authors' aim of bringing “The most influential voices in an accessible format” has been realised in this publication. As a small handy book, it is easy and enjoyable to read for everyone concerned with teaching and assessing children or adults' understanding, regardless of the subject matter or academic level.

The introduction points the reader to consider the theory carefully to appreciate how this is translated into practice. The choice of expert contributors is unremarkable as they are well known writers and speakers in the profession. Their viewpoints and wisdom vary in each chapter providing valuable -˜pint sized' information toreally whet the appetite of both the inovice and experienced teacher. The experts' key messages are skilfully explained in concise and well edited form which maintains the individuality of each contributor to ensure that their insight into specific interpretations of progress are meaningful. Further reading, signposted at the end of each section, is useful for accessing information through research and other written material but also directs us to information websites and YouTube video for instant accessibility.

Philosophical and ethical discussion is considered and reworked as practical and pragmatic ideas with comments and guidance by the authors to ensure that the reader understands that progress is fundamentally about the individual learner and not current trends or targets. The authors' comments follow on from each contributor and provoke the reader into considerably more thought about practical application with useful suggestions which can be adjusted for any age learners.

The authors have distinct and clear methods and processes to advocate but often these can be variations on their own suggestions although rooted in experience and research. For the reader that reads the book from cover to cover, the overall effect could be seen as the authors' approach to teaching as some key messages are handled similarly. However, if the reader dips in and out looking for inspiration, which is certainly there, the recommendations are both helpful and credible.

To really put theory into practice the guidance notes from the Teacher Development Trust shows a broader view to engage neighbouring schools to share expertise. This idea may be particularly relevant for aspirational leaders to spear head a progress project but is also a reminder of how valuable internal CPD is to a school.

In conclusion, the book is an easy read without unnecessary prose, ensuring a collection of interesting and varying views about learning progress, from across the teaching profession, ready for further discussion or development which will appeal to teachers at all stages of their careers.

This reviewer will be keeping a copy close at hand ready for presentation and discussion at a future INSET training!

Click here to read the review online.
Guest | 16/02/2018 00:00
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