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The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit, explicit Paperback – 15 May 2014
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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
David Didau is a freelance writer, blogger, speaker, trainer and author. He started his award-winning blog, The Learning Spy, in 2011 to express the constraints and irritations of ordinary teachers, detail the successes and failures within his own classroom, and synthesise his years of teaching experience through the lens of educational research and cognitive psychology. Since then he has spoken at various national conferences, has directly influenced Ofsted and has worked with the Department for Education to consider ways in which teachers workload could be reduced.
He is the author of the hugely successful titles 'The Secret of Literacy', in which he urges teachers to make the implicit explicit , and 'What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong?', in which he turns his attention to the myriad unexamined assumptions that underlie education and explores how schools might realign their practices with how children actually learn.
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Although there are easy-to-borrow strategies, this is not a book to flick through and steal the odd quick fix; it needs to be read as a whole to appreciate the arguments being made about how and why to teach high-quality, academic literacy. This isn't a chore though - the easy style and clarity of the writing makes it a great read, easily demolished in a few hours.
Oh, a final bit of advice, buy it in paperback, as you will probably want to share it.
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.