I teach, therefore I am.
Writing and publishing a book is a daunting experience, but sending it out for a review (especially when you are sending it to colleagues who have inspired your writing) is truly terrifying. However, the responses were humbling, and as not all of them have made the book cover or website I thought I would share them here. I owe each and every reviewer the greatest thanks, not only for their kind words but for the thinking and writing they have done which enabled me to write the book.
Tom Bennett (@tombennett71):
‘Summer is one of a very special breed of teachers: intelligent, literate, and very much aware of what teachers need to know and do. Assessment and curriculum is almost a lost art in some segments of the education sector. We’ve been deprofessionalised and dislocated from the art for so long that it can seem like an impossible task to get to grips with either again. Summer offers practical and research-supported techniques for doing just that. She is a brilliant and articulate new voice on the educational writing stage, and we need more books like this.’
Alex Quigley (@HuntingEnglish):
‘Summer Turner skilfully manages a devilishly tricky task: making curriculum and assessment accessible and interesting. At a time of rapid curriculum and assessment change, teachers and school leaders are looking around for meaningful support. Summer provides an eminently useable tool to help guide our path through those choppy waters. The book provides a great overview of these complex concepts, providing useful questions, tools and wider reading that make this book a valuable CPD resource.’
Hannah Wilson (@Miss_Wilsey):
‘Summer is a beautiful writer, an intelligent thinker and quiet challenger of the education system. As a fellow English specialist, her use of figurative language resonates with me, reminding me how inspirational our subject is.
As the Professional Learning Leader for the Harris Federation and Teaching School Alliance, her ‘scenarios’ are my ‘why’ for driving up standards in teacher education. Someone tweeted recently: “we are a profession, not a vocation” and need be behave and act accordingly – Summer addresses this through her exploration of what effective CPD should look like for teachers and curriculum leaders.
In her opening Summer explores why curriculum design is seen as a burden by some of the profession. Her call to arms to subject leaders: “Face the fear and do it anyway”, aligns with #WomenEd’s mantra, coined originally by Sue Cowley: ‘be 10% braver’. We will not change nor improve the educational system that we work within, if we continue to do what we do, in the same way we have always done it.
Anyone who is engaged in Twitter, reads blogs or attends grassroot CPD opportunities such as #TeachMeets, ResearchEd or WomenEd will love Summer’s first book as she interweaves references to educational thought leaders such as Tom Sherrington, Alex Quigley and Dylan Wiliam. The intertextuality of the reflections at the end of each chapter with a recommended text is genius and acknowledges the momentum and influence of the edu-twitter and edu-blogging world that I met Summer through.’
David Didau (@LearningSpy):
‘This is a balanced and thoughtful unpicking of some of the hidden influences which direct many of the ways we think about curriculum and assessment. If you haven’t carefully considered the issues, problems and ideas Summer discusses you really have no business making decisions about these crucial areas of education.’
Professor Michael Young (@michaelfdyoung1):
‘This is an engaging, lively and well written book which takes a refreshingly original approach to curriculum and assessment design. It draws on the author’s experience as an English teacher as well as Director of Teaching and Learning at the East London Science School. Unlike most books on curriculum and assessment directed to teachers, it is not just a handbook, but locates its practical suggestions in the wider theoretical debates about the purpose of schooling.’
‘In the past few years, the way we think about assessment has undergone a revolution. While previously assessment was bound to the curriculum, now there is a demand for schools to develop assessment systems that are merely driven by it. Despite raising serious challenges, these dramatic changes provide a reason for teachers to evaluate their practice. Simultaneously, the nature of CPD has been reinvigorated in the ‘digital age’, with teachers galvanised by online resources, Twitter and educational blogs. The result? Teachers can take their development into their own hands, and re-professionalise teaching!
Bringing together these two movements, this book provides an opportunity for teachers to grasp what formative assessment means, how it complements the curriculum when used effectively, how to employ it in their classroom and school, and how they can improve their assessment systems and practice within the classroom.
In our opinion? This is a great book for whole secondary schools, or departments within, to improve practice within the school. Using the changes of curriculum and assessment evident in England, the strategies and development ideas can be used in any school where there is a focus on improving the learning outcomes for their students. Summer offers reflective questions, tips and signposts to further explore and develop ideas and is clearly a keen advocate of the social networking opportunities available for teachers using Twitter.’
If you’re intrigued by the reviews and want to get hold of a copy of the book itself, it is available in paperback and E-book here: Bloomsbury CPD Library and also in both paperback and Kindle here: Amazon