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The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching In Real Classroom Paperback – 23 October 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 295 ratings

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Review

'I found Tom's book wise, balanced, practical, and grounded in research. I'm confident it will help teachers not only to choose the best guidance but to implement it and what's more to coordinate it with other sounds ideas. It's a compelling road map to building a successful school.' Doug Lemov, author Teach Like A Champion and Reading Reconsidered

'Tom Sherrington is a rare thing- a head teacher who can write, not just elegantly, but intelligently. One would be valuable enough. Being capable of both make him and his work essential reading for school leaders everywhere. He also has the gift of not only a career full of experience, but the capacity to unpack his experience in such a way as to make it not just intelligible, but relevant. One of the reasons for this is that he embraces the complexity of the school leader's role without losing sight of the overarching moral purposes to leadership. Rather than writing a book - as so many books on leadership are - of 'here's what I did and you should do it too, ' he assists the reader in developing their own journey through what may or may not work - and in what contexts. Accessible without being reductivist, intelligent without being opaque, this should be on the bookshelves of any school leader interested in reflecting on what they do.' Tom Bennett, Director of ResearchEd

'What is truly astonishing about this book is the amount of distilled wisdom packed into it. It combines a huge amount of significant research with decades of Tom's own invaluable experience of working at the chalk-face to form a coherent, practical and thought provoking book that will be an indispensable guide for years to come. Simply put, this is the book I wish I had read when I started teaching.' Carl Hendrick, head of research, Wellington College

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ John Catt Educational (23 October 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1911382357
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1911382355
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.8 x 1.65 x 21 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 295 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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sasha bailie
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book and Tom's informed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 November 2017
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11 people found this helpful
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Smile
5.0 out of 5 stars The best practical teaching manual.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 August 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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Jack Marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for teachers and leaders
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 February 2018
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5 people found this helpful
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D. P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably best for those that are new teachers or are 'losing touch!'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 August 2019
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KatieSorrel
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for teachers and leaders
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for teachers and leaders
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2018
Teachers
The Learning Rainforest is essential reading for anyone wanting to inform their practice with reference to the latest thinking and research, communicated by a consummate teacher who has a breadth of teaching and leadership experience within the English education system and beyond.
If you want to cut to the chase, start with Chapter 6, which includes a brilliant summary of what constitutes great teaching, and then delve into the practical, "I can use in my teaching tomorrow" guidance in Chapters 7-9. Be warned though, you might be required to rethink some of your most beloved teaching habits. And that, of course, is the true value of the book. Once you have got your quick fix of ideas for your classes tomorrow, you will then want to go back to Chapter One to see where all this brilliant advice is coming from...

Leaders and education professionals
The Learning Rainforest is essential reading if you want to be part of the "education conversation" today. I love the way in which Tom is able to describe so well, and in such an informed way, the path through the contemporary education maze, so that I found myself constantly nodding and making positive approval noises as I was reading. (Much to the annoyance of my family...)
Chapter One describes the experiences and influences that have informed Tom Sherrington's thinking and led to the school / classroom as rainforest metaphor.
Chapter Two makes practical school based sense of the Traditional V Progressive debate, arguing and exemplifying how "they both have a vital role to play in a child's education".
Chapter 3 provides thought provoking challenges as to what students should learn in order to empower them in the "conversation" of humankind.
Chapter 4 is a great summary of the latest thinking in educational research, with rich references, grouped around Classroom Climate, Principles of Instruction and Memory, concluding with implications for teaching.
Chapter 5 lays down the assessment challenge: minimise the time spent on "macro summative data tracking" for accountability purposes, and focus instead on developing authentic formative assessment to transform student progress and teacher workload.
Chapter 6 onwards, see above...

To conclude, this is a book to keep in your bag and refer to constantly.
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