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Primary Education News
News The butterfly effect: Tim Brighouse on how schools could benefit from it
Plus time to enter the Guardian University Awards, and send us a picture of your university room
As romantic as it is mathematical, the butterfly effect theory can be found in all areas of life. What effect does the premise that small changes can have a big impact further down the line have in schools? What impact could small changes in the classroom, head's office and beyond have in the longer term?
It's a question that Tim Brighouse, former chief commissioner for schools in London, addresses this week in the first of a regular series of blogposts on school improvement. He says that "butterflies" – tips or simple ideas about teaching and learning – exist in schools, but more needs to be done to share them.
He writes: "A 'butterfly' would be rotating staff meetings in a primary school round classrooms so the host can start the meeting with a set of reflections on the best things and the points for development in their classroom organisation.
"Another possibility is to have an item where a pupil's piece of work has been marked by three different teachers not from their own school so there can be debate about marking and assessment." Read more online.
Also coming up this week:
• The 10 commandments for new teachers. Secondary teacher Lulu Kuper compiles key rules for NQTs on setting the tone and procedures in a new classroom.
• Trainee teachers – live chat. Whatever training route you're taking, join us and our panel of experts, Thursday 5 September, 4-6pm, to seek advice on getting the most from your studies and preparing for a career in the classroom.
The Guardian University Awards are now open for business so get those entries coming in. Details here
Also this week: the party conferences are on the horizon and some of higher education's biggest players – from Universities UK to the NUS – are hosting a series of debates on the role that universities play in economic growth. Vince Cable, Shami Chakrabarti and Dame Helen Alexander will be among those playing policy ping-pong later this month.
But to kick off debate this week, the Higher Education Network's Claire Shaw will be quizzing John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry. If, as the CBI suggests, more money needs to be channelled into vocational training and apprenticeships, where does that leave university funding? How should ties be strengthened between research and industry – and, perhaps more crucially, why? And by focusing on skills and employability, is the CBI in danger of overlooking the wider benefits of a university education? Business needs creativity too.
Read John Cridland's views, then join our live chat on Friday 6 September to share your own perspectives with a panel of sector experts.
Employability after university is one of the main concerns for students, and it's something our readers are thinking about even before starting university. In response, this month we are launching an employability hub that will cover all aspects of finding a job. We kick off with an investigation into the jobs market, looking at prospects for students and talking to recent graduates about their experiences. Which subjects are leading students into jobs?
Freshers' week is nearly upon us and in preparation, we are asking students to share photographs of how they are decorating their university bedrooms. The GuardianWitness project asks students to share ideas on making an empty space a home .