‘Tom Bennett is the voice of the modern teacher.’ - Stephen Drew, Senior Vice-Principal, Passmores Academy, UK, featured on Channel 4’s Educating Essex


Do the findings from educational science ever really improve the day-to-day practice of classroom teachers?

Education is awash with theories about how pupils best learn and teachers best teach, most often propped up with the inevitable research that ‘proves’ the case in point. But what can teachers do to find the proof within the pudding, and how can this actually help them on wet Wednesday afternoon?.

Drawing from a wide range of recent and popular education theories and strategies, Tom Bennett highlights how much of what we think we know in schools hasn’t been ‘proven’ in any meaningful sense at all. He inspires teachers to decide for themselves what good and bad education really is, empowering them as professionals and raising their confidence in the classroom and the staffroom alike. Readers are encouraged to question and reflect on issues such as:

  • the most common ideas in modern education and where these ideas were born
  • the crisis in research right now
  • how research is commissioned and used by the people who make policy in the UK and beyond
  • the provenance of education research: who instigates it, who writes it, and how to spot when a claim is based on evidence and when it isn’t
  • the different way that data can be analysed
  • what happens to the research conclusions once they escape the laboratory.

Controversial, erudite and yet unremittingly entertaining, Tom includes practical suggestions for the classroom throughout. This book will be an ally to every teacher who’s been handed an instruction on a platter and been told, ‘the research proves it.’

chapter |6 pages


part |2 pages

PART I How do we know anything?

part |2 pages

PART II Voodoo teaching

chapter 6|5 pages

My NLP and Brain Gym® hell

chapter 7|15 pages

Group work: failing better, together

chapter 8|16 pages

I’m with stupid: Emotional Intelligence

chapter 11|7 pages

The Holy Trinity of the three-part lesson

chapter 13|8 pages

Game over: the gamification of education

chapter 14|11 pages

Learning to learn to learn to learn . . .

chapter 16|10 pages

Thinking hats on!

chapter 17|6 pages

School uniform Armageddon

part |2 pages

PART III What do we do now?

chapter 18|11 pages

What everyone in education should do next