Books: “Flow” by Csikszentmihalyi (1990)

The book Flow

“Flow: the psychology of optimal experience”


Harper Perennial Modern Classics, paperback, published 2008 in New York

When I read it

Summer 2009, quite a lot of it in Bristol where I was beginning my SASP course (science additional specialism programme – gaining an official second specialism in chemistry after teaching A level chemistry for 4 years!) Continue reading “Books: “Flow” by Csikszentmihalyi (1990)”

Some quotes – The Streets

“I came to this world with nothing, and I’ll leave with nothing but love. Everything else is just borrowed.”

“It’s not the Earth that’s in trouble, it’s the people that live on it. [No no] Earth’ll be here long after we’ve all gone the way of the dodo”

“For billions of years, since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived. Every single person on your mum and dad’s side successfully looked after and passed on you life. What are the chances of that, like? It comes to me once in a while. And everywhere I tell folk it gets the best smile.”

“Do you what you think’s right, and you will feel alright. ‘Cos when you’re bad you will feel sad. That’s the religion I live by.”

The Streets, Everything is Borrowed

Some quotes – Scroobius Pip

“In this life you can be oh so smart or oh so pleasant; for years I was smart, I recommend pleasant. Being smart can make you rich and bring you respect and reverence, but the rewards of being pleasant are far more incandescent.”

“I won’t attempt to tell you how to love or be loved, because you get a different genie every time that lantern is rubbed.”

“How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood, and then just be in a good mood? That’s all I have to say cos it’s a straight up fact: you control your emotions, it’s as simple as that.”

Scroobius Pip vs Dan le Sac

A (non-fiction) reading list – but no descriptions, yet

More or less in order, these have been read in the last three years or so, and have had major impacts on how and what I think:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1991) Flow: The psychology of optimal experience

Daniel H. Pink (2009) Drive: the surprising truth behind what motivates us

Matt Ridley (2010) The Rational Optimist: how prosperity evolves

Daniel Kahnemann (2011) Thinking, Fast and Slow

Carol S. Dweck (2006) Mindset: how you can fulfil your potential

Jim Collins (2001) Good to Great: why some companies make the leap… and others don’t AND (2006) Good to Great and the Social Sectors

Patrick Lencioni (2004) Death by Meeting: a leadership fable about solving the most painful problem in business

Daniel T. Willingham (2009) Why Don’t Students Like School? A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom

John-Paul Flintoff (2012) How to Change the World

Read a longer time ago, but had a lasting influence: Continue reading “A (non-fiction) reading list – but no descriptions, yet”

Consultations on new science GCSEs

[I will update this blog post as I spend more time studying the documents, gathering colleagues’ views and drafting a response.]

1. DfE consultation on the content of the new GCSEs

Here are the proposed subject content and assessment objectives for sciences

Here is the main consultation document

And here is the response form, or you can respond online (registration required)

Here is the main page on about this consultation

This consultation closes on 20th August 2013

2. Ofqual consultation on GCSE reform

Here is the consultation document in pdf format

Here is Ofqual’s page about this consultation – there are a number of reports related to the consultation (on GCSE reform, gradingtiering and controlled assessment). You can respond by emailing an amended Word document of the consultation document to, or respond online here.

This consultation closes on 3rd September 2013

There’s only one F in Ofsted

Alternatives to Ofsted?

Or just tweaks?

Or scrap it?

You decide.

kevenbartle's Blog

Imagine if the teaching profession en masse were given a magic lamp with their very own genie in it, and that every teacher were given a vote on a collective three wishes. There would, I think, be two certainties and one highly contested third wish. The certainties would be that something pretty awful would befall our stunningly belligerent Secretary of State (imagine something like the fates of Saint Sebastian and Rasputin with turbo boosters on and you’ll get the idea) and that Ofsted would mysteriously disappear never to be seen again.

It’s this last point I want to dwell on in this post: what would we do if Ofsted were to disappear overnight? How would that leave us as a profession and would we really not miss them at all? My instinct is that we need them more than we think we do, at least for now, and that the…

View original post 1,916 more words

Raising The Bar.

My favourite line:

“Raising the bar is primarily a question of effective pedagogy. Within that one word ‘pedagogy’ I would pack in everything we do in the classroom: explaining, asking questions, giving feedback and maintaining a strongly positive work ethic”



From my perspective, a number of recent discussions and policy initiatives have missed the target when it comes to tackling the issue of educational under-performance in our schools. Even where I agree with the diagnosis, the prescribed medicine doesn’t seem to match.  At classroom level, where it counts, there are a number of reasons why ‘raising the bar’ might appear to be required in some lessons in some schools:

The curriculum standards are too limiting: this could be the curriculum framework determined by an exam board or the National Curriculum.  I find the ‘dumbing down’ argument extremely simplistic and partial but there are certainly situations where we could be raising the bar. As an example, when I worked in Jakarta, the top maths students in Y6 took the KS3 SATs paper and many scored L7. We think it’s bold to have a L6 paper but this material…

View original post 2,020 more words