20th November 2015 at 00:00

Candid (in front of a) camera

Teachers whose classroom observations are recorded on video camera are more critical of their own behaviour and more receptive to feedback than those given traditional observations, a study has shown. Almost 350 teachers and 110 administrators in the US participated in an experiment conducted by Harvard University’s Best Foot Forward project. The teachers recorded a number of their own lessons, for discussion with administrators. The teachers tended to be more critical of their own instruction than the control group. They were also less defensive when listening to feedback.

Why leaders love AST status

Headteachers and senior leaders mourn the loss of Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) status, believing it enabled them to retain their best teachers in the classroom, it has been found. Andy Goodwyn and Rachel Roberts, both from the University of Reading, interviewed senior leaders at 18 primary, secondary and special schools. The leaders told the academics that they did not think a potential Master Teacher standard would serve the same purpose as the AST, and called for the position to be reinstated.

Disadvantage starts early

Early-childhood settings with large numbers of disadvantaged pupils are unlikely to receive a top rating from Ofsted, research has shown. Ludovica Gambaro from the University of London, along with Kitty Stewart from the London School of Economics and Jane Waldfogel from New York’s Columbia University, studied Ofsted and Early Years Census and Schools Census data. They found that services catering for disadvantaged children – within maintained, voluntary and private sectors – received poorer ratings from Ofsted than those with a more advantaged intake. The academics called for funding to pay for better-qualified staff in disadvantaged areas. See pages 14-15.

Students who change their tune

Pupils who believe that musical ability can be improved with practice are more likely to work harder and achieve better musical results than those who think that talent is innate and cannot be improved upon. Daniel Müllersiefen, from Goldsmiths, University of London, as well as two other Goldsmiths academics and a headteacher from Reading, questioned 313 secondary pupils. They worked from the premise that students who believe that intelligence is malleable are more likely to try to improve their performance. They showed that this was as true with musical activities as it was with academic achievement.

Adi Bloom (

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