Book Notes – Reflective Primary Teaching Tony Ewens

The aim of reading this book is to see how reflecting on how you teach is important based on the introduction I feel like this book could be applied to anything well the key message of it. Reflecting on what you do each day or week etc can help you improve how you’re doing it and what you can do to make it better for you or others and in the case of this book, reflecting on how you taught and how well the pupils took the lesson/s and how to improve it for next time. I feel like this book will help me in general with my art and final year, evaluating your own  art work every so often to help you find out your flaws and help you find out what you could do better next time sounds like something I do a bit but I should start taking it more seriously.

The book in general has a lot of reflective tasks so I may not be able to get a lot of information of the book but it makes sense for the book to made this way as it’s supposed to help current teachers and teachers in training with their current practice. Although it may not be super useful to me now I may be able to get a few bits of information from it.

Anyway, onto the notes!

Any points with * is my comments and how it can relate to me etc

Introduction (Pages 1 – 6)

“Good teachers constantly strive to improve their performance, by developing their knowledge of the subjects that they teacher, their understanding of the pupils whom they teach…”

  • securing a through knowledge of wide of subject matter in primary curriculum
  • gaining insight to the different characteristics, interests and aptitudes of a sizeable number of children
  • acquiring a range of teacher methods/approaches and implementing them in well ordered classroom

Maintaining, extending and updating each will be constant feature in your work.

Teacher’s role summarised “A teacher is a person who teaches someone something, somehow” Points above indicate significance of the three points, the someone, the something and the somehow. Need a through knowledge of all three to be successful.

“A teacher with a good grasp of the curriculum and a sound knowledge of the pupils, but who lacks a command of a range of teaching methods is unlikely to be successful in the classroom. One who has insight into the pupils and a mastery of teaching techniques, but with inadequate subject knowledge, will teach inaccuracies and misconceptions. And a teacher with thorough knowledge of the subjects and curriculum, together with a wide array of educational approaches, but who lacks an understanding of the class, will not be able to pitch the teaching at the appropriate level for the children. You may well be able to recall teachers in these various categories, who fell short of the ideal, and also practitioners who combined all three attributes in a way that made them good or even excellent teachers.”

“…important to give some serious consideration to your experience as a school pupil. In doing so, it can be helpful to frame questions to prompt your thinking. How typical were you of the pupils in your class? What do you think were the aims that underpinned your teachers’ endeavours? What did the curriculum consist of? What methods of teaching and learning were employed? Did you think that some teachers were better than others? If so, would other pupils have agreed with you? These, and many other questions, can be fruitful starting points for the practice of reflecting about your schooldays.”

2. Reflecting on episodes of teaching in which you have been involved as teacher or observer

  1. try to avoid mindset that always looks for weaknesses. Can benefit from the successful points in lessons too.
  2. don’t need to evaluate the entire lesson. reflecting on one aspect can have greater benefits
  3. Can gain a lot from your class when someone else is responsible for the lesson – *This point is important to me as i’m always observing the P2s while my teacher is the one teaching them. I would tend to notice who pays the most attention, who finds certain ways of teaching by Mrs W more interesting (such as certain pupils being more engaged and learning better from the youtube videos than having the teacher explain it herself etc) 

“…Weekly publications, such as the Times Educational Supplement , provide a valuable means of keeping yourself briefed on current developments and debates, and official documents from the Department for Education…” * I didn’t know that there was such publications so this could be useful for the future if I wish to pursue a career in teaching. 


Ewens, Tony. Reflective Primary Teaching. 1st ed. Northwich: Critical Publishing ltd, 2014. Print. 



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