The Truth about Teaching
An evidence-informed guide for new teachers
- Greg Ashman - Teacher and education blogger, Australia
Career & Vocational Education | Preservice Training | Staff Development & Professional Learning
As a teacher, you are a magician. You conjure understanding where there was none.
Drawing on years of experience teaching in a diverse range of schools and powered by a nuanced understanding of educational research, Greg Ashman presents the most vital ideas that you need to know in order to succeed in teaching. Find out how to avoid common mistakes and challenge some of the myths about what good teaching really is.
Evidence-informed, the book explores major issues you will encounter in schools, including the science of learning, classroom management, explicit forms of teaching, why the use of phonics has been such a controversial issue and smart ways to evaluate the potential of technology in the classroom.
If you are training to teach in primary or secondary education, or in the early stages of your teacher career, this book is for you.
Greg Ashman has written something about behaviour management that is rare in education: useful and evidence-informed. So many commentators write about children as we would like them to be rather than the ones we find on classrooms. His focus on prevention and cure as simultaneous strategies of core importance, is one of the most overlooked manifestos in the craft of running a room. There’s more sense in this one chapter than in half the teacher training courses I have seen on the matter, and I wish that every new teacher had a chance to read, absorb and reflect on its clear and simple wisdom.
This is a highly readable, practical and thought-provoking account of the evidence about how we learn and how to teach. Anyone interested in improving education should read it.
Greg Ashman changed my life. I was introduced to his blog via Dylan Wiliam, and Greg’s subsequent interview on my Mr Barton Maths Podcast in 2017 left me and thousands of listeners questioning everything in teaching that we had previous taken for granted. It took me 12 years to think deeper about the the way I planned lessons, the things I did in the classroom, how I marked books, and many other things. The Truth about Teaching is the book I wished I’d had all those years ago.
...Ashman admits that "teaching cannot claim to be evidence-based ... Instead, we can hope to be evidence-informed." It's a welcome admission that cognitive models and large scale meta-analyses might not tell us everything about what goes on in the classroom, and sets the tone for the rest of this detailed and absorbing book.
New and aspiring teachers will find this book gives valuable insights. The author's extensive background in teaching means he writes from an informed and empathetic viewpoint, giving his readers confidence. An understanding of educational research is demonstrated, along with the most vital ideas necessary to succeed in teaching... It's a practical book, firmly rooted in actual classroom experience with real children - it's just what teachers will encounter and therefore reassuring and positive to use and apply.
The book starts conversations about evidence informed practice within education. Taking a positivist stance the book explores debates around trends and policy shifts in education. This would be a good starting point for education students engaged in knowledge contests around scientific versus philosophical arguments for pedagogical approaches.
Greg Ashman has written a superb book which is accessible to trainee teachers and thought provoking for experienced teachers. It is refreshing to read a book written by a practicing teacher. After 23 years of teaching, I realise that I have spent too much of my time investigating my energy into the latest fads in education, often as a result from a diktat from someone who have never taught in a classroom. This book cuts right to the core of what is important, how to teach effectively and efficiently. Greg manages to show the importance of linking many key aspects of teaching such as behaviour management and motivating learners with lesson planning and assessment whilst demonstrating through evidence and clear examples, which methods bring about the best outcomes for the students in our care. As the lead teacher for teaching and learning in my school and a key partner in a local initial teacher training provider, I will certainly be adding Greg’s book to my list of recommended reading.
Dr. Jo Rowley (Deputy Head, Walton High School, Stafford and Chair of the OAKS secondary teacher training programme)
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1: A short history of education