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The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching In Real Classroom Paperback – 23 Oct 2017
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‘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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Top international reviews
The book resonates with leadership in schools through his breadth of experiences and different contexts. This has enabled me to have more confidence in my leadership and belief that the students in my setting deserve the very best and highest of expectations. It has given me the confidence to trust in myself and not subject the staff to every T&L fad that comes by. to continue developing culture, building solid sustainable knowledge base and then exploring.
A great book which should be compulsory reading and sent to all schools and training centres.
From a leadership perspective the book provides a guide through some rather tricky areas. The chapter on effective assessment is superb and the one on creating the conditions, a must read. Thanks to Tom for putting everything he has learned about school improvement and great teaching and learning into one book. I have taken the baton on and aim to treasure it, before passing it on in due course.
I would say the contents of the book are very good for those that are relatively new to the profession, or those that feel as if they are losing touch with the teaching aspect and need to refresh their practice. Although this did not benefit me quite so much, it will others.
Some very interesting concepts, particularly surrounding project-based learning and assessment for learning (and making that work for you).
Sherrington does a wonderful job of compiling and distilling the latest educational research. A particularly noteworthy chapter entitled ‘What does the research say’ will save you hours of outside reading alone.Chapters are organised in a thoughtful and logical manner allowing for opportunities to dip in and out of the material as time allows. The level of research is impeccable and Sherrington has clearly reframed the thinking of today’s leading educational experts ( such as Nuthall, Wiliam, Willingham and many others) as well as adding many useful insights of his own. It is well written, with practical tips from a writer who has actually known what it is like to be in a classroom. Each chapter begins with helpful thumbnail summaries for readers ‘on the go’. Of particular further note, is the second section of the book which is dedicated to learning in practice. Every teacher in the profession today will find this section invaluable, even if they do not agree with all that is said. It is designed to provoke further discussion and ideas. This is a book I will be sharing with my whole faculty and recommend strongly that, if you are an educational leader who wants to generate rewarding faculty room discussion, you do the same. As a faculty member I only wish this book had been available to me back in the day. Simply put, it is the best book on how to think about teaching and how students learn that I have read in 2017.