The Michaela Way: texts and notes

Update: Joe Kirby, Deputy Head at Michaela has collated a list of blogs by and about the school and other related areas here.

In my review of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers, there are, no doubt, many areas of the book I didn’t do justice to (read the book, please) and I hope to return to some of these in this and future blogs. Here, I want to draw attention to the educational research/literature that staff at Michaela refer to in the book. I have simply gone through the book and noted down the books/papers referred to, numbers in brackets that are not obviously years refer to the page in the book on which they are first referred to. Occasionally BHOTTT refers to an author but not to specific texts. I hope this will be a useful resource for those wanting to read more about ‘the new paradigm’ which Michaela represents. I haven’t linked to Amazon for books as that is so easy to do for yourself. I will update this page as I find other helpful links etc online.

The additional notes bulleted and in italics are mine:

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amu Chua (11)

  • I hadn’t read this and have now ordered it. There are some interesting online reviews, such as this in The Telegraph, and (predictably) less sympathetically this in the Guardian.

E.D. Hirsch,  (18)

  • Hirsch has written numerous books and produced the Core Knowledge Curriculum; he is extremely readable, I recommend his most recent book  Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories
  • Cultural Literacy is also very good, as is The Schools We Need: And Why We Don’t Have Them. There is a wide literature critiquing his work.A good introduction is this Guardian article. This review of a book by Educational historian Diane Ravitch is a good introduction to his thinking. This article by him on bad ideas in education relates to teacher workloads Daisy Christodoulou (see below) tweeted.

Make It Stick (24), Brown, Roediger, McDaniel

  • Excellent. Another extremely readable book. There are reviews here and here. It is a book about memory and the importance of memory in learning. It is somewhat surprising that memory is so little talked about in schools and among educationalists.

Daniel Willingham (34)

  • Willingham is a well know education blogger. His website and a very good list of his articles is here. His Why Don’t Students Like School is excellent, as is The Reading Mind and Raising Kids Who Read. Given statements by politicians recently on experts his When Can You Trust the Experts?: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education, is worth a look at.

Adriaan de Groot (35)

  • Again, not someone I have read. A chess master, psychologist and expert on memory. 

Herbert Simon (34)

  • Yet another new one for me (perhaps I am just revealing my ignorance here), long-term memory.

Krischner, Sweller and Clark (2006) (35)

  • The paper “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching” is available here

Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov (41)

  • A superb book, there is a good introduction to Lemov’s ideas in this Guardian article.

The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt (97)

  • Really interesting in trying to see the origins of much of our binary thinking around conservative v. liberal. There is a good introduction in the New York Times here.

Mealtime Talk That Supports Literacy Development, Snow and Beals (120)

Not available online without library access

Seven Myths About Education, Daisy Christodoulou (161)

Russell Bishop (2003) (171)

John Hattie (171)

  • Another well known education writer, his website is useful, and the two books Visible Learning and Visible Learning for teachers are invaluable. There are also excellent YouTube films of Hattie, such as this.

Heath and Nielson (171)

  • Not available online without library access. A study seeking to measure the correlation between teacher behaviour and student outcomes.

Progressively Worse, Robert Peal (171)

  • Mentioned and linked to in the original blog. A really significant text. Peal identifies the Plowden report as the source of many of our educational problems. It certainly seems to be the origin of the phrase ‘child-centred’ which I think comes from Rogerian counselling, ‘person centred counselling’, although I can’t prove that connection. By way of balance here is a critique of one element on Peal’s work.
  • David Didau (@LearningSpy) reviews the book here. He begins describing the book as a “blistering polemical attack on progressive education in England, Progressively Worse, the burden of bad ideas in British schools, and, while it clearly has an agenda and an axe to grind, it’s a book I hope everyone involved in teaching spares the time to read and absorb”
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