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Lee Elliot Major (pictured) is former Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust and a founding trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), chairing its evaluation advisory board. Lee was previously an education journalist and worked for the Guardian and the Times. He is now Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter.
Steve Higgins is Professor of Education at Durham University. Before working in higher education, he was a primary school teacher in the north-east. Steve is also the author of numerous educational books, chapters and research articles.
Find Steve on twitter @profstig
Steve and Lee are co-authors of the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit and have given more than 50 keynote presentations and talks on using research and evidence to thousands of teachers across the world. They co-author the monthly 'Explainer' column for TES, advising teachers on education research.
This book has managed to be both accessible and very relevant without being patronising, which is always a difficult balance. It is packed with tips and anecdotes and what makes it especially good, is the fact that, as a busy teacher, you can simply dip in to a relevant chapter. It is a great guide book, but I also liked the way that it is laid out instructions, suggestions and ideas for teachers, whilst allowing us the freedom to adapt the programme for ourselves. It is a huge resource with cross references to other publications and practices. I loved the brief synopsis at the start of each chapter with the teaching tips, leadership tips and the unusual addition of the unexpected findings box, which was particularly interesting. A shame the political parties have not read the findings on how smaller classes are only more effective if the class size is below 20 and focused itself on more useful suggestions that they might put into place. The book is full of common sense suggestions, reminders and solutions such as ‘technology is there to support, not replace’ and the importance of feedback not marking which can simply be a way of demonstrating a teacher’s performance or to satisfy the requirements of others, mainly adults. It was reassuring to see in print, so much of what so many of us think. The advice in the book is incredibly helpful. It is not trying to reinvent the wheel, but giving teachers reminders about how to apply best practice. It is very easy to stop learning yourself in the efforts to educate others. The book summarises very succinctly what we all aspire to be. It is not what you do, but the way that you do it, that is important. This book would be brilliant for CPD or an inset training in any school and a valuable asset to any staffroom book shelf.