Product reviews for The Book of Plenary

Jane Hewitt author of `Learning Through a Lens`, Freelance Educator and Photographer
Phil Beadle writes in a refreshingly honest manner. If he doesn't agree with something or can't see a point to it then he -˜tells it like it is', as we would say in Barnsley -˜he calls a spade a shovel!' His latest book made me rethink my approach to the plenary of a lesson and raises searching questions about -˜if you can't articulate what you are learning then are you actually learning it?'
Although he plays down his own work by using humour -” -˜this book is already the seminal text on it (ie the plenary): no one else could be bothered to write it', -he clearly explains the need for well planned, effectively timed plenaries which fulfil their basic function ie -˜consolidating knowledge.' He is scathing about plenaries which are -˜bolt ons' and box ticking exercises., and seriously questions the idea of mini plenaries.
Part one of the book is an -˜overview' of the plenary. I have never met Mr Beadle but from his writing I would imagine a passionate, bold person who is unconcerned whether you agree with him or not -” he knows what is important to him and stands by his clearly outlined principles. If he disagrees with a theory he will tell you that it's utter -˜nonsense'. His style is clever in that he outlines theories and then either accepts or rejects them leaving you to work out if you agree with him or not.
Part two of the book is called -˜Analogue Plenaries', which are described as -˜off the shelf' (vinyl as opposed to CD) and -˜probably the reason you bought this book.' Some of these ideas I had come across before but never as explained in the -˜Beadle style', I laughed, spluttered, cringed and screamed -˜you can't say that'-¦but have now got several off the shelf plenaries lodged in my brain.
Part three is concerned with metacognition and is a thought provoking section which helpfully unpicks many theories on motivation, goals and thinking.

The final section is labelled -˜Digital plenaries' which are plenaries in which -˜meta analysis' plays an important part. Mr Beadle maintains his writing style of directness and leaving you in no doubt about his opinions of -˜mind numbing homework' and -˜1970s PE teachers' along side -˜overpaid mockney balding educationalists' all of which leave you chuckling, spluttering and then thinking around the ideas that he puts forward.

I think you may have blown your cover here Mr B, you may appear to be cynical and argumentative but you obviously care a great deal, you may not suffer fools or foolish ideas gladly but you know how to challenge and obviously reject any shoddy and poorly thought out practice. You did what you set out to do and turn something -˜intrinsically boring' (your words not mine) into something interesting.

Your references on p 52 made me smile! You refer to your book -˜Could Do Better' as -˜not really any good don't bother' but you are unhappy with your -˜paradigm shifting' work -˜Dancing with Architecture' being described by -˜brain dead Amazon reviewers as -˜a bit whacky' -” I did read that but didn't review it as I could decide between genius and barking mad!
Guest | 12/09/2013 01:00
Was this review helpful? Yes No (0/0)