Independent Thinking Blog

Dung Beetles and Monday Mornings

On Saturday 13th Feb 2016 we held a different sort of event for Independent Thinking. It wasn’t a day course, an INSET session or a conference but a not-for-profit gathering of interested teachers and Associates. We were there, Barnsley to be precise, because we all felt we needed to do something about that point where education and environmental issues met. When we say ‘we’ we mean you as well, all of us. And when we say, ‘environmental issues’, we mean catastrophic, ‘this changes everything’, end of the world as we know it environmental issues.
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Rescued from Nightmare

IN 2015 Debbie Kidd, Jane Hewitt and Bethan Stracy-Burbridge went out to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with the World Wide Education Project, funded by our Big i Foundation. There they met Nancy. This is her story.
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It's Just Nuts on a Plate

I think I’ve read more education research in the last few years than at any point in my teaching career. Some of it has made me think differently about my practice and some of it has cemented my beliefs. Based on what I see on Twitter I suppose that’s the point. Yet rather than opening up the debate about good teaching, what seems to be happening far more frequently is research being used to tell teachers in no uncertain terms exactly how to teach.
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Tait Coles' Message to Jeremy Corbyn

Associate Tait Coles, the man behind Punk Learning and never one to mince his words, was asked by The Guardian what his request to new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn would be. This is his full reply:
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What If?

An article first published by the Secondary Heads Association (now ASCL) in 2004 and written by Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking. Watch out for imitations...
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Zero Waste Schools

Governments around the world are increasingly fixated simply on data in schools. Meanwhile, really important things like the damage we are doing to our planet only get worse. But schools can do something about – and many of the children in them certainly do want to play their part.
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How the Brian Works (sic)!

Last weekend we held one of our Thinking Saturdays where an open invitation is put out to our Associates to get together to explore certain key areas relevant to our work across the board in education. This time - the brain with paediatric neurologist Dr Andrew Curran
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Are Your Lessons Rigorous?

Here are seven great questions from educational rigour ‘guru’ Tony Wagner to check whether your lessons are rigorous or not. And by rigorous he doesn't mean simply effective at ‘prepping for the exam’.
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The View From the Special School Part Two

Twelve months ago I felt compelled to write a blog about the frustrations I was feeling regarding GCSE exams and children in special and alternative provision. For those who read my ‘annual blog’ I was attempting to express my feeling of despair about how the children at my school are put through worrying levels of pressure to sit exams. Well, it’s happening again!
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The Revolution Will Not Be Metricised

Gil Scott Heron, writer of The Revolution Will Not be Televised, spoke of the inability of mainstream media to bring what is in the hearts of the people to the world. His poem, written in the 1970s, was meant as both a call to arms as well as a recognition that there is an alternative out there, an alternative we have to go out and find.
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