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Things in Education

This is our repository of all our newsletters which are delivered to the inbox of our subscribers.

List of Published Newsletters

Edition 3.9

12 Apr 2024.

Hello and welcome to the 61st edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. Today we write about something that a lot of experienced teachers do intuitively. But we think that writing about it makes it concrete for the experienced teachers, as it is no longer just intuitive, but also research-backed. For teachers with fewer years in the field, knowing that you can blend two approaches while teaching comes as first, a surprise, and then a relief. Imagine that you didn't have to only follow the Reggio Emilia approach for foundational learning, but you could also take elements of the Montessori approach. Life becomes so much simpler for teachers! And dare we say better for students' learning outcomes. So let's dive into the what and how blending of approaches. Read More.

Edition 3.8

29 Mar 2024.

As we wind down yet another academic year as teachers, principals, school leaders, owners we thought this would be good time to post something that can help with self-reflection, building better hiring processes and just cooler ways to plan professional development. Today we write about how content knowledge is different than pedagogical knowledge and the ramifications of these in our approaches to teaching. Read More.

Edition 3.7

15 Mar 2024.

Hello and welcome to the 59th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. In this edition, we have tried to uncover the basics of what teachers need for the best chance of ensuring students meet their learning outcomes. We think that constant and frequent feedback on students' thoughts and actions are key to better planned and customised lessons. However, students' thoughts and actions are not easily seen. We write about a model of how to make students' thoughts and actions visible. Read More.

Edition 3.6

1 Mar 2024.

In today's edition, we write about which topics teachers find difficult to teach or are at least, not interested in teaching. Over the last few years, we have been meeting with teachers and we have seen that teachers find some topics harder to teach effectively than others. So we tried to make sense of it by asking: Are there any patterns to the topics that teachers don't like to teach? Are not good at teaching? And many more. Tell us if you agree with our model. We want to know if you have had different experiences. Read More.

Edition 3.5

16 Feb 2024.

In this edition of the newsletter, we annouce the launch of our Data-Informed Teacher Development. We have been doing teacher professional development for private schools and teachers from various government schools. Finally, after a year little more than a year of building, we think we have a solution that supports teachers and schools in the best possible way. And it exists as a combination of online and in-person intervention, and a combination of support and accountability in equal measure. And our favourite part is that the entire solution is modular. You only want the online part? Okay! You only want the in-person sessions? Okay! So dive in and have a look at our solution. Read More.

Edition 3.4

2 Feb 2024.

Hello and welcome to the 56th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. This In the last edition, we wrote about what is STEM in the foundational years and why it is important. We now explore the other side of exploring STEM in foundational years - the pitfalls. But before that, as promised in the last edition, we share examples how technology and mathematics can included in foundational STEM. Read More.

Edition 3.3

19 Jan 2024.

Hello and welcome to the 55th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. Does STEM have a place in a foundational learning classroom? Is it just a fad? Does it really help foundational development of learners? This edition explores these questions and hopefully shows why STEM is crucial in early education. Read More.

Edition 3.2

5 Jan 2024.

Hello and welcome to the 54th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. This edition is on foundational numeracy, specifically focussing on how an innately present number sense can be leveraged to teach mathematical operations. We hope that today's edition helps our readers pinpoint specific reasons why hands-on activities are important in teaching and learning foundational numeracy skills. Read More.

Edition 3.1

22 Dec 2023.

Hello and welcome to the 53rd edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. Today we reflect on our work with teachers. We took the plunge to support and help in-service teachers, so what did we learn in the last three years? Read More.

Edition 2.26

8 Dec 2023.

We, at Things Education, have been working with teachers, teacher trainers, school leaders and sometimes students over the last three years. We have been reading, understanding and implementing some of the best practices of teacher professional development over these years. We thought that it would be a good idea to reflect on the process and see where we have reached as an organisation and also the area of teacher professional development in school education, in general. Read More.

Edition 2.25

24 Nov 2023.

Today we write about a critical component of teacher development – breaking of ineffective habits and creation of effective ones. Breaking old habits and creating new ones is not an easy task, and definitely not one that can be achieved in a single TPD session. How can we use evidence from neuroscience and social science to make TPD more effective? We write today about this specific issue, based on a paper by Hobbiss, M., Sims, S., & Allen, R. (2020). Read More.

Edition 2.24

10 Nov 2023.

Today we write about a part of teacher professional development which a lot of us tend to forget or maybe ignore. Classroom observations. Classroom observations are subjective, difficult and effortful. No wonder they are avoided. We write today about how one may be able to approach classroom observations without it being a pain in the neck. Read More.

Edition 2.23

27 Oct 2023.

The Things Education team is made up of teachers – teachers who have taught in different situations, taught different subjects and grades, and taught using different approaches. Over our several years of individual and combined teaching and teacher training experiences, we believe we have a fair understanding of what kind of support teachers will benefit from – and all our expertise has now taken the form of a fantastic new teaching tool, TEPS. But what do we think is the right kind of support? And why? Dive into this summary edition of our newsletter to find out. Read More.

Edition 2.22

13 Oct 2023. 

Imagine this situation: You are a Grade 3 English teacher in India, and you are following a manual of standardised lesson plans to teach skills of reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. This week, the lesson plan requires you to read the poem ‘Bed in Summer’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish novelist and poet. This poem comes highly recommended, because it forms part of the poet’s collection called “A Child’s Garden of Verses”, it is at just the right reading level for Grade 3 students, and it uses endearing imagery and rhyme. Read More.

Edition 2.21

29 Sep 2023. 

Many times when we are having conversations about assessments or lesson plans or even specific activities in lesson plans, we ask a question to teacher, "What is the learning outcome of this lesson?" It is uncanny how many times we don't get a specific answer to the question. So in today's edition we break down the components of learning outcomes and give you simple do's and don't's of creating a learning outcome. We believe that having clearly defined learning outcomes are the first step to any teaching-learning plans. Read More.

Edition 2.20

15 Sep 2023. 

We live in an age when information is available at our fingertips. AI has made looking for the information easy. There are approximately infinite resources which can be used as learning aids. Social media has been a great platform to look for and share the best ideas. So when an educationist looks at an interesting teaching tool, questions about how to use this tool, when to use this tool and more importantly when not to use the tool come up. Today's edition is about one of the decisions that an educator needs to make - does the learning outcome need students to explore deeply or do they need to build skills or procedural knowledge? Read More.

Edition 2.19

1 Sep 2023. 

We are growing up. And we are growing. Growing up - we completed two years of being an officially registered entity earlier this week. Growing, because of two reasons - one we are writing about topics that are highly debated. Last edition was a breakdown of IBL, PBL and constuctivism and today we are writing about role of AI in a teacher's life. Secondly, this edition was formed with the experiences of our Academic Lead, Shristi Singh. Today we write about what Shristi has learned from using AI. What have been the advantages and where she needs to be careful and use her own judgement and expertise. We are sure this will help a lot of educators. Read More.

Edition 2.18

18 Aug 2023. 

Hello and welcome to the 44th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. Phew!! Today we do it. We specifically show, write and summarise the difference between constructivism, inquiry-based learning and project-based learning. Through the course of reading it, you may see a lot of things overlap between these approaches. This may lead you to ask, "What is really different?" We have tried to at least write that one defining feature that makes a pedagogical approach inquiry-based or project-based. Read More.

Edition 2.17

4 Aug 2023. 

This edition was inspired in part by some experience that Things Education team members had at a few schools and also in part to an amazing discussion on Twitter. In this edition, we talk about what we usually get right and wrong about Problem-based Learning - the other PBL. Two studies have recently been published on PBL which help make sense of the effectiveness of PBL at different grades and different circumstances. Hope you enjoy this summary of the research in the field and our experience on ground in schools. Read More.

Edition 2.16

21 July 2023. 

One of our early editions was about why teacher professional development (TPD) programmes fail in Indian schools and what can be done to ensure more effective TPD programmes. That edition was more than one and a half years ago. Today we revisit the topic of TPD and schools to see where we are with TPD. With the increasing awareness of the need to have TPD programmes in schools, more schools are opting for TPD programmes. This is a great first step. We delve deeper today into what schools have been doing, what they may be missing and what more they could do. Read More.

Edition 2.15

7 July 2023. 

We have somewhat of a masterclass on Constructivism today. There is some debate on whether constructivism is an effective pedagogical approach for student learning or not. In today's edition, we conclusively take a side in the debate, and at the same time we also caution the readers on how not to approach constructivism. In one of our follwing editions we will also delve into what is the right time to use construtivism as a pedgogical strategy. Read More.

Edition 2.14

23 June 2023. 

Today's edition is a little different than normal. We have attempted to put our other editions in the context of what policy, research and practice are telling us to do when it comes to foundational learning. We are not really surprised that there we could call back almost 10 different editions to help bring context to our fortnightly editions. It is especially pleasing for a fledging organisation like ours to see that we are thinking and creating foundational learning solutions which are aligned with not just policy, but also backed by research in classrooms. Read More.

Edition 2.13

9 June 2023. 

Today we write about a fundamental dichotomy when it comes to teaching in inquiry classrooms or taking the project-based learning approach. The dichotomy comes from the fact that through these pedagogies we expect students, who are learning the discipline, to act as experts in the discipline. We say it is a dichotomy, but as you read on, you will realise there is no dichotomy. Read More.

Edition 2.12

26 May 2023. 

In a previous edition, we wrote about what phonics is and why phonics instruction is one of the foundations of strong reading abilities. “Cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham has often emphasised that "the alphabet is a code that puts sounds into visual form." As we read, we turn these random shapes on paper – letters – back into sound! In that sense, this week's article is about how reading leads to better reading. Read More.

Edition 2.11

12 May 2023. 

This week we are back with our foundational learning series. And as we had promised at the beginning of the calendar year, we have an edition on foundational numeracy. More specifically, we write today about the intiutive number sense that we have and how it needs to be developed to deepen students' sense for numbers. Read More.

Edition 2.10

28 Apr 2023. 

Hello and welcome to the 36th edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Things in Education. What does policy change in education mean for you as an educator, a school leader or a content creator? Today, we try to partially answer this in the context foundational learning.