About this blog

About me – Daisy Christodoulou

I’m currently the Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in the UK. In July 2017 I will take up a new post as Director of Education at No More Marking.

You can read more about me in this article in the Sunday Times, and this profile by Peter Wilby in the Guardian. You can contact me via Twitter @daisychristo.

I’ve written two books about education.

  • Making Good Progress? The future of Assessment for Learning (Oxford University Press, 2017) You can buy a copy from Amazon here. For more information, including a summary of each chapter, see here.
  • Seven Myths about Education (Routledge, 2014) You can buy a copy from Amazon in the UK here, and in the US here.  For more information, including a summary of each chapter, see here.

You can find various debates and speeches I’ve done on Youtube.

In 2007 I was the captain of Warwick’s winning University Challenge team. You can see a video of the final here.

Daisy Christodoulou, May 2017

23 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Pingback: Before You Declare ED Hirsch’s ‘Core Knowledge’ As Evil, Know This: « Laura McInerney

  2. LearningLondon

    Hi Daisy,

    Just finished reading your book. As a teacher who has grappled with the “outcomes-based” approach ever since I first began my studies in 2002, I found it profoundly elucidative. I feel like all the vaporous crap I’ve been trying to understand has been swept aside by your cogent arguments. You have skilfully articulated the intuitions that have been nagging at me for years. Thank you!

    Jack

    Reply
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  4. Jane Patrick

    I have just listed to you on Radio 4 on iPlayer. I am a science teacher and agree with everything you say! Well one for standing up to the current orthodoxy of the educational establishment.

    Reply
  5. Aileen Duffy

    Hi Daisy. I work for College Development Network in Scotland. We organise the ‘Emporium of Dangerous Ideas’ which is a future-oriented education festival that provides a platform for anyone interested in pushing the boundaries of education. Next year it will run from 9th – 19th June. Would you be interested in contributing to the debate on the importance of teaching facts and skills? Thanks Aileen

    Reply
  6. Charlotte (@Monkeyneco)

    Thanks very much!

    I am a British mother living in Tokyo and I am planning to support my daughter’s English academics after school and at weekends/vacations while she goes to Japanese elementary school (we plan to switch her to an international school when she is about 10 or so). We will need to focus on vocabulary and writing skills to ensure that her level is strong enough when she switches. We are going to hire a private tutor and also do some work with her at home every day. Couple of questions:

    1. Do you have any recommendations for good textbooks to use with her? I heard that Galore Park is good, but what do you think? Does ARK produce and sell materials?
    2. I have TEFL qualifications but no other teaching qualifications. Are you aware of any evidence-based resources that parents can use to improve their skills for teaching their own children? Online videos, books… anything really!

    Thanks so much for your help. I’d really value your opinion on these matters!

    Reply
    1. The Wing to Heaven Post author

      Hi Charlotte,

      I am no expert on this but here are a few recommendations – hope they are helpful!
      1. Good textbooks – I really like the resources produced by SRA McGraw Hill, particularly the Expressive Writing ones which teach the mechanics of writing. https://www.mheonline.com/programMHID/view/0076020428 They are based on the Direct Instruction model of teaching (https://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/direct-instruction/) and are very thorough. I have never used Galore Park but I hear very good things about them from people I trust. How old is your daughter now? If you want resources to help teach her to read, then I would recommend the Read Write Inc programme by Ruth Miskin, – http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/read-write-inc-programmes/ – and also the Reading Reform Foundation website http://www.rrf.org.uk/ . For teaching vocabulary, the best resource I have come across is this book by Isabel Beck, which I write about on my blog here https://thewingtoheaven.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/teaching-content-rich-lessons/ . It isn’t a textbook but it has lots of very practical tips for teaching vocab. Beck’s work has been used by the Core Knowledge foundation to create some really amazing resources for Kindergarten – grade 3 children. http://www.coreknowledge.org/ckla-k3 They are tailored to the American context but may still prove useful, and best of all they are available for free! Unfortunately Ark do not produce resources!
      2. I have a friend with a young child who told me about this website – it’s by Larry Sanger. http://larrysanger.org/category/education/ He is co-founder of Wikipedia but he is also a big figure in the home schooling world! His blog has some good tips about teaching your own children. More generally the direct instruction method of teaching, mentioned above, has a lot of solid evidence on its side.

      Reply
  7. Charlotte (@Monkeyneco)

    Hi Daisy–thank you so much for your reply!

    This is really helpful stuff. I am going to look into the resources you recommend.

    As we have to fit English instruction into after-school, weekends and holidays, it’s really important that she gets taught with methods that are evidence-based and efficient, so the resources about direct instruction and vocabulary that you mention are likely to be particularly helpful.

    My daughter is not quite four right now, so “academics” as such are very limited as yet; we do about 10 minutes of synthetic phonics (Jolly Phonics, basically) every day after nursery school, and she is enjoying it very much; I will take a look at the phonics program you recommend as well.

    I have a couple of the Core Knowledge books already–as you say, they are fairly American in terms of content, but I can always balance that out with some British resources.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to reading your blog and Twitter posts in future!

    Reply
  8. tlamjs

    Dear Daisy,

    Apologies for contacting you like this but I have read with great interest your recent posts on assessment. Next year I am organising a conference in St Albans and am incredibly keen to recruit you as the keynote speaker for the day, Saturday 28th May. The conference is focused on feedback and assessment and, although in the early planning stage, is rapidly gaining momentum. Workshop spaces are being signed up and will be full of interesting people. The aim is to have a day to share, discuss and debate ideas in a collaborative and collegiate fashion. Having you present one of the key notes would be fantastic and a really good way to engage with the current hot-potato of assessment.

    I do hope you are interested and would be very happy to give you further information, I follow you on Twitter (@tlamjs) if you wanted to direct message me back for further details.

    Many thanks,

    Michael Smyth

    Reply
  9. Vincent Dupont

    Hello Daisy
    I teach English language and literature in France. I have read your book, which I think is brilliant. There does not seem to be a French translation – could you let me know if one is planned? If not, I might be interested in trying my hand at it. I have already translated an essay by Theodore Dalrymple, entitled “The new Vichy Syndrome”.
    Thank you.
    Best wishes
    Vincent

    Reply
  10. Tempe Laver

    Hi Daisy – your book is terrific and goes a long why towards exposing the myths in education. I am not an educator, just a mere parent, but I became increasingly concerned with my daughters education in the State system in Australia ie lack of knowledge/facts emphasis on inquiry-based learning, lack of focus on basics such as memorizing times tables, standard algorithms, grammar and punctuation and lack of time given to practice. I have done quite a lot of research myself but I am so grateful to come across people questioning the educational orthodoxy – one doesn’t feel so alone. I now homeschool my eldest and just purchased ED Hirsch’s What Every 6th Grade student Should Know. It is wonderful. I only wish my kids had of had this curriculum all though their schooling.

    Reply
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  13. Peter Rook

    Dear Diane
    I am writing an article for InTuition magazine about the ‘fashions’ in teaching styles/theory and posing the question of how teachers in FE are expected to adapt to or reject these styles/theories.
    Editor Alan Thomson has suggested that you could add an interesting insight.
    All I would require is a moment of your time to answer some questions either by email or, if you prefer, I would be happy to interview you over the phone.
    My deadline for the article is Tuesday November 15.
    Please let me know, at the earliest opportunity, if you would be willing to answer a few questions on the topic.
    Incidentally, one of the people I have spoken to already has mentioned your book in his response (positively I might add).
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Regards
    Peter Rook

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Comparative judgement could help examiners assess students using real-world activities | Oxford Education Blog

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