The Teaching Delusion

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The Teaching Delusion: Why Teaching In Our Schools Isn’t Good Enough (And How We Can Make It Better), published by John Catt Education, is out now.

Available in paperback and for Kindle.

About the book

The Teaching Delusion by senior education consultant Bruce Robertson offers a bold, refreshing and sometimes provocative stance on teaching and leadership. Informed by the latest educational research and drawing on two decades of professional experience, Robertson examines how teaching in schools can be transformed from good to great. 

The new title from John Catt Educational poses challenging yet important questions to its readers. Schools are filled with great teachers, but is great teaching taking place in every classroom? How can educators expect students to cultivate a lifelong passion for learning if they themselves are lacking this? 

Robertson’s solution is twofold. To promote excellent teaching, there must be a shared understanding of what high-quality teaching really is what does it look like, and how can it be fostered? Secondly, there must be a school-wide desire to engage in professional learning. With his school having won the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Excellence in Professional Learning Award in 2019, Robertson uses his personal track-record of success to explore how these barriers can be addressed to lead to a transformation in teaching practice. 

Written by a teacher and school leader for teachers and school leaders, The Teaching Delusion aims to support teaching communities to develop and improve their practice, in order to ensure that all students receive the same level of excellent education. Aligning himself firmly on the side of teachers and keen to avoid teacher bashing, Robertson sensitively engages in an often controversial discussion about how to improve the quality of teaching, aiming to boost knowledge, awareness and ultimately self-esteem in both educators and learners. 

The Teaching Delusion combines practicality with pedagogy in a thoughtful, unique approach making it a vital resource for teachers and leaders at all levels who are looking to better their practice.

Praise for ‘The Teaching Delusion’

“This book is indispensable for teachers and school leaders alike. It makes a passionate case for putting learning and teaching at the heart of everything that happens in a school and provides a clear and instantly practical framework for doing this. It is one of the best summaries of key educational research I have read and it has challenged me to think about the most important question in education: what makes great teaching? If you only read one educational book this year, make it this one.”

Kelly Fairbairn, Deputy Headteacher and former Head of English and Literacy, Scottish Borders

“Reading ‘The Teaching Delusion’ has had an immediate, positive impact on my teaching. The practical skills I have picked up as a class teacher are already making a difference. I am seeing a marked increase in my students’ confidence, focus, and knowledge in a very short time.”

Derek Huffman, English Teacher, Berwickshire High School, Scottish Borders

“I have found this book an incredibly interesting and thought provoking look at what is central to both the purpose and practice of the teaching process, and what factors can help to improve it. It challenges teachers to think in its easily readable, personal and conversational style. By bringing together and summarising key ideas from the work of contemporary educational thinkers, the book challenges the reader to explore their own thinking about what makes great teaching or, indeed, poor teaching. An enjoyable, well researched, thought provoking read.”

Iain Hughes, Quality Improvement Manager for the South East Improvement Collaborative; former Headteacher, Waid Academy

“Challenging yet supportive, this book takes a clear, comprehensive and engaging look at the key question: how good, actually, is our teaching? Read it and become a better teacher.”

David Swinney, Scottish Qualifications Authority

“This book helps to dispel many of the myths espoused by the fashionistas of contemporary pedagogy. It is a refreshingly candid look at much of our current and unfortunately misguided classroom and school practices; however not all is lost as Bruce compels us to imagine what real schools might look like and how they might feel if we were to genuinely adopt a critical, professional engagement with pedagogical practices informed by the latest educational research. Furthermore, Bruce extends his challenge beyond the classroom and questions whether senior leaders base strategic improvement on making the core business of learning and teaching truly excellent. It is a polemic; it is an appeal to exploit research based pedagogy and appreciate excellent teaching as a science and an art. I am positive teaching professionals will breathe a sigh of relief on reading this.”

Scott Steele, Headteacher, Lochaber High School, Fort William

“This book is both challenging and thought-provoking and a must read for classroom practitioners who want to improve their practice. Bruce is a reflective practitioner who has the rare ability of being able to translate educational theory into classroom practice. This book is an excellent resource for educationalists to use in order to provide stimulating professional learning focused on classroom practice.”

Anne-Theresa Lawrie, Feuerstein International Trainer