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Daily Coaching News

5 areas to focus on for staff success

Gathering a group of professionals together to work in a team should be an energising, stimulating, and productive process. Pooling expertise and sharing ideas in open discussions, in the pursuit of improving the way that you work, what could be more noble and worthwhile?

Except, we don’t always work well in teams. Perhaps it’s down to time, workload, or more likely, not knowing how to get the best out of a group. Studies have found that while we believe teamwork to be a key element to our organisation’s success, much fewer of us believe our teams are currently fulfilling this ambition.

In this blog, written by The Power of Teams author Sam Crome, we’ll explore how you can improve team culture and create a firm, evidence-informed foundation from which to build your team’s dynasty.

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Lethal mutations in education – and how to avoid them

A lethal mutation, according to the Education Endowment Foundation, happens “when evidence-informed practice is modified recognition from the original practice.” It’s often done with good intentions and driven by a desire to be (or at least appear to be) following ‘what the research says’.

But what starts as a good idea hoping to be “true” to the research can distort into something else. The result is not only unlikely to help, but in many cases, it can also hinder progress and performance.

Lethal mutations are also insidious. They creep up on you slowly, incrementally, over time – much in the same way that you can’t tell a child has grown in height from one day to the next, but can see an obvious difference after a year. Consider a sound idea changing by only 1% every day. After a year, it will have changed by a huge 37%.

Lethal Mutations graph 800px

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Our top 4 findings from UNESCO’s report on technology in education

The most thorough and up-to-date report on the use of technology in education has been released by UNESCO. It offers valuable evidence on where we are currently at with the use of digital technology in education, as well as offering guidance on how we can best move forward.

It is a massive document – 435 pages to be exact. It contains gold dust for every educator, as the benefits of getting this right and the cost of getting this wrong are huge. Don’t have time to read it all yourself? Fear not, for we have summarised the key findings for you in this blog.

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The Power of Expectations

How much influence do the expectations of teachers and parents/guardians have on a student’s learning and performance? The answer may be found in a fascinating study from the 1960s that forever altered our understanding of the power of expectations – and still rings true today.

Researchers informed a group of teachers that some of their students had been identified as potential high achievers who would blossom over the academic year. In reality, these students were chosen at random. And yet, by the end of the year, these randomly selected students had made significantly more progress than their peers.

This phenomenon became known as the Pygmalion Effect, illustrating the transformative impact of high expectations on student achievement. But what happens when expectations are low? And how can we as educators leverage the power of expectations to maximise student success?

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How to Actually Use Retrieval Practice

Not all studying strategies are equal. One that has proven itself again and again is Retrieval Practice, sometimes referred to as the Testing Effect. This strategy allows students to move on from disengaged memorisation and instead engage in an active cognitive process, strengthening their memory traces as they do it.

In a nutshell, Retrieval Practice gets students to generate an answer to a question, from memory, based on things that they have already learnt. Practising this recall helps cement information in their long-term memory, and make the links stronger under pressure – a benefit that comes in handy in situations such as exams.

Another great thing about Retrieval Practice is that there are many ways to use it. But this also means that it can be hard to know where to start. So, let’s look at some of the best practical ways to get your students to practise retrieval and harness the Testing Effect:

  • Past papers
  • Practice tests
  • Quizzes
  • Multiple-choice tests
  • Essay answers
  • Answering questions aloud
  • Testing themselves on flashcards
  • Teaching others

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10 ways parents can help their child revise

The start of the academic year is looming, which can be a whirlwind of emotions and stress for both students and their parents or guardians. There is a lot of pressure to set good habits that will support students throughout the year, all the way to exams.

School staff have, of course, a crucial role to play in helping students prepare for this. However, parents and guardians are in a unique position to offer substantial support for their child’s mental well-being and academic achievement at home.

But it’s hard to know how to best support your child in a stressful moment and in a sustainable way. So, we’ve put together 10 practical strategies that parents and guardians can utilise to help their children throughout their school career, focusing on:

  1. Good sleep habits
  2. A nutritious breakfast
  3. Minimising distractions
  4. Studying using Retrieval Practice
  5. Making use of the Protégé Effect
  6. Combatting procrastination
  7. High expectations
  8. Motivation
  9. Making outdoor exercise a habit
  10. Balancing work and play

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