Five common misconceptions about teaching - from Ofsted's Annual Report 2012/13

11th December 2013 at 00:00

Many people wrongly think that Ofsted has a preferred style of teaching.

The Ofsted Annual Report 2012/13 looks at some common misconceptions about what makes for good teaching:


1: Pace

Some believe that the faster the lesson, the better the learning. While pace is important – pupils may lose concentration in a slow lesson – teachers can sometimes concentrate too often on the pace of the activity rather than the amount of learning.

2: Number of activities

Some teachers think that the more activities they cram into the lesson, the more effective it will be. This is often counterproductive, as activities are changed so often that pupils do not complete tasks and learning is not consolidated or extended.

3: Over-detailed lesson plans

Excessively detailed and bureaucratic lesson plans can cause teachers to lose sight of the central focus on pupils’ learning.

4: Inflexible approach to planning lessons

Some school policies insist that all lesson plans should always follow the same structure, no matter what is being taught. The key consideration should be the development of pupils’ learning rather than sticking rigidly to a format.

5: Constant review of learning

In many lessons, much time is spent by teachers getting pupils to articulate their learning before they’ve completed enough work. Ofsted inspectors have observed lessons where pupils were asked to self or peer assess work before they had been able to complete a sentence or two.


Ofsted resources

Ofsted’s ‘Moving English Forward’ report took a thorough look at teaching methods and misconceptions based on three years of observations.

The Ofsted Annual Report for Schools 2012/13 takes a look at the state of teaching across England, and highlights what is going well and where there is room for improvement.

There are also eight regional reports, so you can see exactly how your area is performing.

You can also read the full report commentary from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.