Communicating Educational Research

Ahead of Thursday’s (27th July, 8.30 – 9.00pm)  on communicating educational research I thought I would check and update my Reading series of pages which includes some very useful educational research summaries.

PorterThe various pages on free books have also been checked and updated. With the new A Level Specifcations coming perhaps some of those old textbooks might come in handy and will take older readers on a trip down memory lane – anyone for Porter’s Further Elementary Analysis?!

Several books are available – answers included.

On research, note in particular the pages Research – Learning & Teaching and Research – Mathematics Learning and Teaching.

From Harvard Graduate School of Education, see Communicating Research with readings, tips and strategies for clear expression. There are many good points here for communication generally not just in communicating research.

Harvard Usable KnowledgeSelect ‘Find by topic’ for a menu of Usable Topics’; try Teaching for example for a further menu including the chance to ‘Ask a researcher’. The series, Ask a Researcher, offers evidence-based guidance for the classroom in the areas of literacy, mathematics, and English language learning.

Excellent examples of clear communication are:


Research in 100 Words – Chris Moyse

Research in 100 Words from Chris Moyse who descibes this series as “Simple summaries for busy teachers”. Also from Chris, his favourite research articles in one collection.

Cambridge MathsEasy to digest research on Mathematics education from Cambridge Mathematics, see their Espresso page where in their words, “Each month we bring you an Espresso – a small but intense draught of filtered research on mathematics education, expressly designed with teachers in mind. Each Espresso considers one particular issue in mathematics education, and how the latest good-quality research can provide helpful guidance or further reading.”


Mathematics Conversations

There are many useful conversations on Mathematics on Twitter. Now just in case you hate Twitter or have no interest in it – you can still follow useful conversations and follow links to resources without even signing up to Twitter. I find Twitter a little like a lucky dip – usually in just a few minutes I find useful resources or the latest educational news.

For Mathematics teachers I would recommend the following:

Q3 Resources#slowmathchat  where different questions are posed for discussion; you can read more about the origin of #slowmathchat and how it works on Michael Fenton’s Reason and Wonder. A complete archive of all the questions and answers is available too.

#mathsTLP for lesson planning, a Sunday night chat but you can of course view at any time and many teachers share useful resources / ideas that work in the classroom.

Select image for resource on TES

Select image for resource on TES

Each weekly chat is very clearly archived on Ed Southall’s Solve My Maths.
Talking of Solve My Maths, I do love Ed’s Mr Men!

Mr Men Ed Southall

Mr Men – Ed Southall

All the links above to Twitter list the tweets in time order (Live); note that you can choose Top or Live;

Top & Live

Further useful Twitter people and hashtags to follow:

Craig Barton TESMaths

Diagnostic Questions

#mathschat for UK education and #mathchat for US education

#MTBoS for converstaions from the Math Twitter blogosphere

#maths and #math for general UK & US tweets on Mathematics

@Desmos for the latest on the fabulous graphing calculator

@Wolfram_Alpha and @WolframFunFacts


MAA – Mathematical Association of America 

Association of Teachers of Mathematics

If you are interested in learning more about Twitter see the very clear Twitter Lingo guide from Mashable and Russell Stannard’s training videos. And for a nice simple explanation try ‘Mom This is How Twitter Works’.

This page has been reproduced and added to the Reading series of pages, further updates will be published there.

I Hate Top 10 Lists!

This morning I enjoyed reading Ross Morrison McGill’s thoughtful “Top 10 UK Education Blogs Or Not?”. It was the or not part of his title that caught my eye. Ross is quite rightly talking about the validity of the ranking but Top Ten lists have interested me for some time.

Top 10I have often been wary of so called Top (insert number) lists particularly when said list is simply a blog post and there may be little validity behind the choices. You will see that I always preface my own favourite lists with a reminder that the choices are personal to me – I am not claiming any authority.

Others have written well on this subject. So I present in no particular order and with no authority whatsoever some of my favourite articles on hating top 10 lists!

Returning to the list of Top 10 UK Education Blogs mentioned at the beginning of this post, regular readers will be aware I look regularly at Ross’s site – I’m a fan of the 5 Minute Series, particularly when it comes to Lesson Planning. On that list is a real personal favourite – David Didau’s The Learning Spy, a favourite because David constantly challenges my thinking. I am currently feeling guilty at the number of times I must have written about students being engaged when it comes to lesson observation! I try to be so aware of Robert Coe’s Poor Proxies for Learning. What I really mean by engaged is that students are indeed getting on with the task they have been set. I’ll only know more about their learning by
Poor Proxies for Learning

looking at other evidence. I recently noticed some of my own Year 11 students in a general revision session for the Year group successfully answering a GCSE question on Direct Proportion. I taught that topic to them some months ago and recall being pleased with the lesson at the time but it is so much more convincing seeing them answering problems some time later! (We have also picked it up again using resources such as Mr Corbett’s 5-a-day). I’ll be even more convinced of course when I look at the exam board question by question analysis later this year.

I read many Maths blogs of course, but think it is important to look at some of the more general education blogs too.

Happy Reading!