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‘Mark, Plan, Teach 2.0 is a must-read for school leaders’

Joanna Rigby from UTC Warrington reviews the new edition of the teacher toolkit bestseller for QA Education…

Book review: Mark, Plan, Teach 2.0, by Ross Morrison McGill 

(Bloomsbury Education, £16.99)

Ross M. McGill, also known as @TeacherToolkit, is the founder of one of the most popular education websites in the world, supporting teachers globally. Mark. Plan. Teach 2.0 is an updated version of the bestselling first version. A stalwart of evidence informed practice, McGill delivers hints, tips and most importantly practical strategies that teachers can implement into their practice to improve outcomes for students. 

As the name suggests, the book is split into three clear sections, Mark, Plan, and Teach. This forms the basis of how McGill mirrors an effective approach to teaching. school leaders - Mark, plan, teach

Each section is divided into 10 tried-and-tested ideas that can be implemented into the classroom. The ideas presented are grounded in research and supported by educational theories. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the key ideas shared.

During the first section of the book, McGill seeks to clarify the purpose of assessment and feedback in schools and how inside influences have somewhat distracted us from this. A whole range of evidence is presented to show how cumbersome marking policies in some schools have led to us having the longest working hours of any educators in the world. A number of strategies are then shared with a range of practical tips to help teachers the quality of marking in their schools.

The second section, Plan, covers a wide range of strategies to help support effective planning, including behaviour managements and continuing professional development. There is a clear focus on ensuring that as educators we focus on what students can learn and not what we want them to do.

In the final section, McGill provides a range of strategies that can help teachers to improve their teaching. Grounded in cognitive science and influenced by the work of Rosenshine and Hattie, clear reference is made to the importance of direct instruction and the essential nature of understating how learning works.

Recognising the hectic schedules that teachers endure, the book is accompanied by a visual guide, beautifully illustrated by Oliver Caviglioi. This is a perfect accompaniment to the full text and allows busy teachers to use the visual guide as a signpost to specific areas for development. They are then able to delve deeper into the educational theories and evidence, which is provided in more detail in the full text.

This book is a must-read for any teacher or senior leader with a responsibility for improving the quality of teaching and learning in their school.

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