Effective teaching lies at the very heart of the effective school. What it is and how to nurture it is something we try to explore in this book, but whatever one’s notions of what constitutes ‘effective’ teaching, few would doubt that it is essential if schools are to flourish. What is more important, however, is that time spent not only improving the quality of what each individual teacher does, but also the effectiveness of the whole school, is a wise investment. The major aim of this book, therefore, is to help both newcomers and experienced professionals gain further insights into their own teaching and that of others. Teaching is a set of craft skills, values, beliefs and practices that can be added to and improved at all stages even of a long career. There are teachers close to retirement who are still willing to innovate, to look closely at what they do in the classroom, at what their pupils learn, and to reflect alone or with others on how to improve their practice. The intention is that, by reading the text and trying out some of the practical activities, teachers will be able to improve their own classroom practice. If people work together as a group, whether they are experienced teachers in the same school, tutors and student trainees on an initial training programme, or some combination of these, then this will be even better. The emphasis is on both activity and reflection, for one without the other would be less effective. All the activities can be done by individuals or by groups of students or experienced teachers, either in discussion or with children on their own or in someone else’s classroom. The use of jargon is minimised, though not omitted entirely, as from time to time it can help to have a specific term that covers some key concept.