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Thinking Through Pedagogy Courses

New Perspectives ... offers two main types of course designed for headteachers, teachers, those training to teach and, often, other staff or governors in primary and nursery schools. This page describes the Thinking Through Pedagogy courses, while New Perspectives on ... courses can be seen by clicking the link.

Michael Fullan suggests that 'educational change depends on what teachers do and think. It's as simple and complex as that.' Other factors - curriculum, resources, inspection, school structures, leadership - all affect this. However, the complexity of children's learning requires teachers - and other adults - who in the Cambridge Primary Review's words 'work towards a pedagogy of repertoire rather than recipe and of principle rather than prescription.' In other words, one essential element of school improvement is teachers who think through and understand their practice, and are prepared to develop their own ideas, rather than just follow the recipe.

Good CPD draws on the evidence of research and practice, introducing new ideas and perspectives to encourage a deeper understanding of pedagogy, to help groups and individuals explore how this can inform and enrich their own teaching. However, too often, courses do not enable this sort of collective thinking, which will be especially important with the end of the National Strategies and the likely decline of Local Authority courses.

Thinking through Pedagogy courses are designed to encourage discussion and the sharing of good practice, recognising the need for teachers to think through and reflect on the complexity of children's learning and the tensions of often-conflicting demands on teachers. They are a differetn sort of course designed to make a difference to how teachers think and teach.

The courses are designed as a set of linked sessions, exploring an overall theme in depth. Drawing on Dr Tony Eaude's book 'Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years', published by Learning Matters in January 2011, these pose and explore important, often contested, questions. They are usually based in a school, drawing on research and participants' experience, linking theoretical and practical elements; and are, therefore, very different from those which offer simple one-size-fits-all solutions.

Alternative models, depending on the location of schools and their specific needs, are available, such as:

  • six after-school sessions, similar to a Master's level module, but without the need to write a dissertation; or
  • at least two full-, or three half-days, with space for reflection and reading between these.

Courses are organised on pre-set dates in areas within easy reach of Oxford and can be set up in response to specific requests. Courses run so far have been on the themes of:

  • Encouraging high-quality classroom talk;
  • Developing the attributes of successful learners;
  • Creating appropriate environments for learning; and
  • Thinking through values.

Others planned in the near future are:

  • Play, playfulness and creativity;and
  • Assessment for learning.

Schools or groups may wish to design a programme, in consultation with Dr Tony Eaude, from thinkingthroughcourses (pdf, 187K) . Two such programmes have run successfuly in the 2011-2 academic year.

New Perspectives ... has run similar programmes in Oxfordshire for those in their first year of teaching, on the theme of 'Developing your philosophy and practice.' Any groups of schools or local authorities interested in such continuing professional development opportunities in their area are invited to contact Dr Tony Eaude.

Courses can be tailored according to the experience of the participants, for instance students in initial teacher education, newly qualified teachers, teachers with at least two years' experience or support staff. While suitable for individual schools, great benefit is gained where participants are drawn from a range of backgrounds.

If you wish to discuss how such opportunities can be of most use to you, or to book, then please contact

Identity, Culture and Belonging: Educating Young Children for a Changing World is due to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in February 2020. Details of how to order are on the Bloomsbury website.

Developing the expertise of primary and elementary classroom teachers -professional learning for a changing world was published by Bloomsbury Academic in January 2018. A paperback version was published in July 2019. Details of how to order are on the Bloomsbury website.

New Perspectives on Young Children’s Moral Education
-Developing Character through a Virtue Ethics Approach
was published by Bloomsbury in December 2015. Details of how to order are on the Bloomsbury website.

How do expert primary classroom teachers really work? - a guide for teachers, headteachers and teacher educators was published in 2012. For further details, see the publications section of this website or contact
Details of how to order are on the Critical Publishing website.
Download flyer (pdf, 3.3MB).

Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years was published in January 2011. For further details see Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years.

Thinking Through Pedagogy: Primary and Early Years by Tony Eaude

Children's Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development by Tony Eaude (second edition, 2008)

Enhancing Achievement for Young Bilingual Learners
Download flyer (pdf, 410K) by Tony Eaude, published in March 2007

For more details on how to order these, please contact