Uncharted Territories

Adventures in learning

By: Hywel Roberts , Dr. Debra Kidd


$24.95

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Size: 222 x 182mm

Pages : 160

ISBN: 9781781352953

Format: Paperback

Published: January 2018


Hywel Roberts and Debra Kidd’s Uncharted Territories: Adventures in learning is a book of prompts, provocations and possibilities designed to nourish creativity and generate ideas that will get teachers and pupils excited about learning.

In this time of high-stakes testing, growing mental health issues among young people and increasing pressure on teachers to focus on rote repetition and practice papers, we have to step back and ask: “What is the purpose of education?” If you think it is to get children through tests, then this book is probably not for you. If, however, you think it is to develop wisdom in children – the capacity to think, to apply knowledge, to empathise, to weigh up evidence, to consider consequences and to make informed choices – then this book is most definitely for you.

Rooted in practice and grounded in research, Uncharted Territories invites a reassessment of what curriculum coverage can look like and provides an abundance of hooks into exploratory learning that place learners – of whatever age – knee-deep in dilemma, so that they are thinking deeply, analytically and imaginatively. These are not knowledge organisers or schemes of work; rather they are inspirational forays into imagined contexts for learning which, as fantastical as they may appear, always have the real world as their destination. Signposted by story starters and inductive questions – not to mention the beautiful illustrations which are sure to fire children’s imaginations – Hywel and Debra’s innovative routes to learning will help teachers stray from the beaten track of the curriculum and instil in learners a sense of purpose as they discover, manipulate and apply knowledge and skills across a range of collaborative, cross-curricular problem-solving contexts.

Each chapter focuses on a different place – such as a remote castle or a mysterious cave, where the learning will be applied and challenged – and is packed with starting points and “what ifs …?” to establish rich landscapes for exploration and a wide range of opportunities for discussion and writing. To help map out the territory ahead, Hywel and Debra guide the teacher around the key learning landmarks linked to each context’s overarching concepts and lines of inquiry, and point out the many different curriculum areas to which the explorations naturally lend themselves to. The authors go further by offering transferable ideas which can be adjusted to work with whatever age group, as well as a variety of context-based tasks to enable the teacher to explore how elements of, for example, literacy and/or numeracy could be incorporated in order to save curriculum time.

While Uncharted Territories is a rallying call to arms for the imagination, in each of its chapters Hywel and Debra also delve into the why in order to present the teacher with a comprehensive debrief of the learning processes and the theoretical and academic underpinning. Furthermore, the authors provide a helpful listing of drama techniques and relevant books and poems that can be incorporated into the learning journeys, as well as useful advice on how to assess and evidence their outcomes.

Designed for use with learners of all ages, from early years to secondary.

Chapters and contexts for exploration include:

  1. The Forest
  2. The Castle
  3. The Graveyard
  4. The Mountain
  5. The Ship
  6. The Universe
  7. The Wasteland
  8. The Zoo
  9. The Cave
  10. The Theme Park

Picture for author Hywel Roberts

Hywel Roberts

Hywel Roberts has taught in secondary, primary and special settings for almost 30 years. He contributes to university education programmes and writes regularly for TES as the ‘travelling teacher’. A true Northerner, Hywel deals in botheredness, creative practice, curriculum development and imagineering. He was recently described as ‘a world leader in enthusiasm’ and his first book, Oops! Helping Children Learn Accidentally, is a favourite among teachers. Hywel is a much sought-after educational speaker and has contributed to events worldwide. He also contributes fiction to prison-based literacy reading programmes developed by The Shannon Trust and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Click here to listen in on Hywel's podcast with Pivotal Education - 'teaching hooks and exercising imagination'.

Click here to watch a video interview with Hywel as part of The Education Foundation's series of Education Britain Conversations.

Hywel Roberts in the Time Out Room ' PP174 Podcast on Pivotal Education.


Picture for author Dr. Debra Kidd

Dr. Debra Kidd

Debra Kiddtaught for 23 years in primary, secondary and higher education settings. She is the author of three previous books - Teaching: Notes from the Front Line, Becoming Mobius and Uncharted Territories - and believes more than anything else that 'the secret to great teaching is to make it matter'. Debra has a doctorate in education and co-founded and organised Northern Rocks, one of the largest annual teaching and learning conferences in the UK.

View Debra's profile in Schools Week, October 2014.

Click here to listen in on Debra's podcast with Pivotal Education on 'teaching, learning and politics'.

Click here to watch a video interview with Debra as part of The Education Foundation's series of Education Britain Conversations.


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