Badges in High School

As well as the project involving badges at university, ongoing, another project involved looking at the use of badges in High School. For this, I am particularly grateful for the collaboration of Naomi Hennah, a teacher at Northampton School for Boys, who saw some of our chatter about badges and spotted the potential for their use in school. Naomi has also brought her interest and expertise about oracy to the project.

This trial went rather well (that was Naomi’s doing). She devised three activities, each one building on the previous, so that pupils could progressively develop their skills but also revisit ones that didn’t go well. We decided that the trial would be of interest to other teachers, and published it in Journal of Chemical Education. The article is freely available at: J. Chem. Educ.201794 (7), pp 844–848.  Things got a bit crazy:

  1. The article was awarded ACS Editors’ Choice. This is extremely unusual for an education paper; it means that out of all of the ACS journals, one article is selected every day to be freely available, recognising the broad interest and appeal of that article’s content. As well as the kudos (damn right we are proud!), it means that the article is open access.
  2. Hits on the article were incredible, and it received over 1000 views in the first month. I think this reflects the popularity of the idea and potential of badges.
  3. Northampton School carried a news piece about the publication.
  4. Most recently, the article was featured in July’s Chem Ed Xchange “Especially JCE”, detailing articles of interest to High School teachers. Hopefully this will bring the idea to a new audience of interested teachers.

We have lots more to do on this great project… stay tuned!


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