Teaching Theory 

Theory vs Practice?

Much classroom teaching can be treated as a logistical matter: present PowerPoints, give resources, mark work, occasionally deliver projects. For the literature teacher, such an approach is cursory anathema. 

Education still does not know what it is. Is it philosophy? Perhaps sociology with a healthy injection (infection?) of politics? Bernstein, the somewhat discredited yet interesting late professor at the IoE, metaphorically defined the humanities as horizontal and the sciences as vertical. By that he meant that the humanities could not simply be taught in a spiral curriculum: much of what we need to learn literature had to be formed in thought outside the classroom. 

So, while theory sometimes derided in favour of (observably) impactful practice, a grounding in the thought of pedagogical theory and the humanities is necessary for wise teaching. 

The Psychology of Teaching

Although we have no solid idea of what learning might actually be, cognitive models that relate learning to brain activity are happily accepted.  Here you can see thoughts and articles relating to the psychology of teaching from the view of both students and teachers. 


Reflexive thought about the mind feels like it should make us better learners. Here I summarise past and thinking in the field of metacognition with practical solutions for schools and teachers. 

Cultural Capital and Education

Perhaps the most contentious statement in this website: a teacher with little cultural capital lacks the inner map to teach literature effectively. Debates about the canon and voice discourse contest a knowledge-rich curriculum. Here I summarise thoughts about cultural capital and offer some ideas for both schools and teachers. 

Research Methods in Education

Although evidenced-based teaching risks being appropriated by forces that seek to infantilise teachers, pedagogy must always seek to sense, measure or predict impact. Here I summarise thoughts and examples of research methods. 

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