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The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit, explicit Paperback – 15 May 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Thinking Press an imprint of Crown House Publishing (15 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781351279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781351277
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 18 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After 15 years as a teacher, in which he led 2 English departments and was an Assistant Head, David is now a freelance trainer, education consultant, conference speaker, provocateur and writer. His award-winning blog, The Learning Spy, is (apparently) one of most influential education blogs in the world and he is also the author of the best-selling, The Perfect English Lesson and The Secret of Literacy.

His training has been described variously as being "like bottled lightning", "throwing a grenade into a still pond" and "quite good".

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Review

David Didau`s book is everything a book about the work of teaching should be: clear-eyed, lively, wise, and funny. Written by a front-line practitioner of the craft. --Doug Lemov, Managing Director, Teach Like a Champion Team

The Secret of Literacy is an essential book for all teachers and school leaders. It is not just another literacy book. David Didau provides a crystal clear rationale for all teachers taking responsibility for developing literacy in their specialist areas, with lots of very practical ideas, drawing on a range of sources from blogs and the latest literature on the issue. Anyone familiar with David`s own superb Learning Spy blog will immediately recognise some of his most powerful ideas and his inimitable style: it is witty and accessible, grounded in the reality of everyday classrooms, but also conveys a sense of urgency. This is a serious business and, as David highlights, too much of what we do in the name of literacy, isn`t literacy at all. The book is challenging us to do better and shows us how. 'Making the implicit explicit' captures the key message, but Secrets of Literacy is more than a set of tools; it is a call to arms! --Tom Sherrington, Head Teacher, King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

As an avid reader of David`s brilliant blog I was really excited to read his new book. I wasn`t to be disappointed! In his inimitable style, David manages to enliven and illuminate literacy, making what is a potentially tricky topic accessible and downright intriguing. He distils a shed-full of research and combines this with practical pedagogy. David puts the compelling argument that literacy is not a bolt-on job for English teachers, but it is rather a fundamental aspect of great teaching in every lesson for all teachers. He dispels some enduring myths and establishes a clear, usable method. --Alex Quigley, Subject leader of English and Assistant head teacher at Huntington School, York.

About the Author

After 15 years as a teacher, in which he led 2 English departments and was an Assistant Head, David Didau is now a freelance trainer, education consultant, conference speaker, provocateur and writer. His blog, The Learning Spy, is (apparently) one of most influential education blogs in the world and he is also the author of the best-selling, 'The Perfect English Lesson' and 'The Secret of Literacy'. His training has been described variously as being "like bottled lightning", "throwing a grenade into a still pond" and "quite good".

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bassett on 28 May 2014
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This should not be seen as a book solely for the ‘Literacy Co-ordinator’ in your school or college. It makes the case that improving the literacy of students is the responsibility of every teacher no matter what their subject specialism. It is full of practical tips based on “those high impact, low effort strategies” which will help all teachers develop the literacy of their students. It is, however, much more than a shallow ‘100 ideas’ type book and really makes you think and question some taken for granted assumptions about teaching and learning. The section on ‘The teaching sequence for developing independence’ confirms what most teacher intuitively know is true, but should be required reading for school and college leaders who try to impose on staff what the ‘Ofsted Whisperers’ have told them makes an outstanding lesson. It is refreshing, for example, to have a book on teaching that doesn’t denigrate the idea of ‘teacher talk’ but instead asks how this part of the teaching sequence can be improved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Hewitson on 16 May 2014
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A really good book especially for trainee teachers who are looking for ideas in relation to planning for literacy. I really like the way in which theory and application of theory are discussed in a realistic manner. Really good explanations of terminology. Definitely on my module reading list for next semester.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C Wright on 20 May 2014
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Teacher-readers: this is a really, really helpful book. No facile lists of quick fixes. No ponderous chin stroking about whose responsibility. Just clear -eyed evaluation of how to get all staff onside with raising the profile of Literacy. Great stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By peterbbb on 18 Aug. 2014
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Rather too chatty a style in places where I would have preferred a more academic style. Info is good but there is a little fence sitting or perhaps a form of critique which takes the form of, 'Well, I'll tell you this but you have to make the decision about it.'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Hawkes on 29 July 2014
Format: Paperback
As a reader of his blog, I did wonder whether I would find anything new in this book. I need not have worried and have read this book in a weekend as I kept wanting to pick it up and carry on. I am a primary school teacher which is probably not the target audience but I found this book really useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H A Johnson on 12 Jun. 2014
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Some really interesting ideas here which are not only useful but also really simple to implement. A really engaging read, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alison ridyard on 22 May 2014
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Having waited an age for the book to arrive, I spent much of my weekend reading The Secret of Literacy. As a keen follower of David Didau's blog, "The Learning Spy", much of the content – in the opening chapters at least- was familiar to me (like old friends as opposed to annoying in-laws). Reminding (rather than patronising) teachers about the inextricable nature of literacy and teaching, whilst offering practical strategies for improving literacy, this book is bursting with both style and substance. Didau's wit, honesty and distinctive style, have made this my favourite “teacher read” yet. Well worth the wait :-).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Griffin on 31 July 2014
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Very occasionally, a book comes along that has me reaching for a highlighter. This one went further, and had me emailing my department and SLT, On almost every page there is a pithy observation, a hook, a memorable phrase, helping bring the ideas into the realm of the real world of a teacher. It's not just the ideas contained but the way each idea is embedded in the practicalities of introducing it to your day-to-day teaching.

Finally, and by no means the least admirable aspect of the book, the quality of writing is superb. It reads as easily and naturally as a good novel. If you are a teacher looking to find those tiny tweaks that offer big rewards for minimal input, this is essential reading.
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