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Optimal strategies: Towards a research-synthesis model for effective classroom task selection in secondary schools

Written by: Robin Bevan
9 min read
Dr Robin Bevan FCCT, Headteacher, Southend High School for Boys, UK The choice of classroom activities Curriculum design tends, rightly, to focus on determining a coherent developmental sequencing of content with an associated progression in knowledge, understanding and skills (e.g. Wiliam, 2013). Teachers, however, still tend to find themselves with a relatively free choice regarding the activities for their classes. Choices about which types of classroom activity are most effective are hard. In my experience, there is a natural tendency for teachers to select classroom activities that are convenient, not least because workload constraints limit the time to consider what might ‘work best’ with an evidence base to support that reflection. Teachers may simply draw on an existing published resource (e.g. textbook exercises or worksheets) or their own previous teaching experience and preferences, with a leaning towards what is ‘tried and tested’. Decisions also, rightly, may

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