More on academic and non-academic subjects

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More on academic and non-academic subjects

Scenes From The Battleground

Yesterday I wrote about what I think makes some subjects “academic” and other subjects, while still worthwhile, not academic. The discussion on Twitter immediately afterwards was particularly helpful in helping me reconsider some points and defend others (although by now it largely seems to have been replaced by various progressives arguing against things I never said).

My original argument was that the use of the word “academic” to describe a subject corresponds to those subjects where mastery of the subject was characterised by further study (e.g. history or maths) and not those subjects where mastery is characterised by some distinct activity or skill (e.g. woodwork, painting or football). I acknowledged grey areas (music and MFL can be taught in either academic or non-academic ways) and emphasised that the difference between academic and non-academic subjects does not lead to a value judgement. I also put forward the view that trying to…

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Academic and non-academic subjects

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Academic and non-academic subjects

Scenes From The Battleground

One of the worst things that happened in education in the 2000s was a seeming reduction in the number of academic subjects. MFL ceased to be compulsory, and some perverse changes in the league tables gave schools an incentive to concentrate on vocational qualifications. In the last few years, particularly with the introduction of the Ebacc and other changes in league table measures, efforts have been made to reverse this. During some of the debates it became clear how divisive it can be to refer to some subjects as “academic” and yet this is something we do quite easily, often without thinking what we mean.

If I had to put into words what I mean when I describe a subject as “academic”, I’d say an academic subject was one where mastery of it was best characterised by further study. The people who are best at history, are historians and they…

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Using student checklists to support metacognition

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Using student checklists to support metacognition…

Class Teaching

This week’s teaching forum was with science teacher Becky Owen.  Becky has been reflecting on how she and other members of the science team have been using content checklists with students with, a view to:

  • Improving student awareness of their own leaning and revision.
  • Improving student understanding of the content knowledge that is needed.
  • Ensuring content coverage by staff.

Students are given a checklist for every topic in science, in key stage 3 and 4, to stick in their exercise book.  Here is an extract from a GCSE physics checklist:

In the EEF Toolkit, metacognition is classed as high impact and low cost, based on robust evidence, in terms of having a positive impact on student attainment:

“Meta-cognition and self-regulation approaches (sometimes known as ‘learning to learn’ approaches) aim to help learners think about their own learning more explicitly. This is usually by teaching pupils specific strategies to set goals, and…

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DT & Engineering Blog: DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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The DJI Phantom 4 Pro redefines the iconic Phantom series, bringing imaging and intelligence to new heights. Its new camera equipped with a larger 1-inch sensor and the ability to capture 4K video at 60fps and while its FlightAutonomy system adds dual rear vision sensors and two infrared sensors for a total of 5 directions of obstacle sensing and greater protection. Creators are also further empowered with a new suite of ActiveTrack and TapFly functions that makes complicated shots easier than ever.

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