Philosophy of Education

On the clever discourse of Mitra’s “no holes in the wall” and the DT Willingham meme

I wanted to try and thread some recent twitter debates together. I’m going to touch upon the Sugata Mitra debate. Mitra is accused of poor research. I would describe it as “discursive research”; it generates the potential for change but it is empirically weak. You could accuse Coe (EEF toolkit) and Hattie (visible learning) of the same.… Continue reading On the clever discourse of Mitra’s “no holes in the wall” and the DT Willingham meme

Blog · Ofsted · Philosophy of Education · Uncategorized

On education and the influence of Cognitive Psychology: can you learn 1 + 1 = 3?

In this blog, I want to consider a Twitter debate on the nature of learning. I was surprised to learn that many educationalists believe you can learn untrue truth propositions. Education has long struggled to define learning but a relativist perspective has emerged due to the increasing influence of  Cognitive Psychology. Vygotsky, Bruner, James and Dewey have been… Continue reading On education and the influence of Cognitive Psychology: can you learn 1 + 1 = 3?

pedagogy · Philosophy of Education

On extreme instructivism and the social construction of evidence

I was struck by Lorraine Hammond’s recent piece for The Conversation, favourably comparing explicit instruction with inquiry learning. Hammond describes inquiry as “based on a theory of learning called constructivism” and: (…) a type of learning where, before students are shown the essential information, they are asked to practise a task, and then discover and construct some or all of the essential… Continue reading On extreme instructivism and the social construction of evidence

Blog · pedagogy · Philosophy of Education

On curriculum objects and designing learning experiences for the early years and beyond

In our previous blog, Ruth and I discussed the use of the discovery method.  I want to revisit that blog,  and the knowledge object 1 + 1 = 2, and cast a material lens1 on the nature of curriculum knowledge. As Ruth points out, this approach is particularly relevant to the early years because of… Continue reading On curriculum objects and designing learning experiences for the early years and beyond

pedagogy · Policy · Powerful knowledge · Progressivism

On the sacred and profane of powerful knowledge

Introduction School’s minister, Nick Gibb, frequently talks about the national curriculum in terms of a canon. In ancient Greek, a canon referred to a measuring rod, which could offer a symbolic description of the current education system.  The canon of the medieval education system was the gospels; the trivium introduced the medieval elite to the word of… Continue reading On the sacred and profane of powerful knowledge

pedagogy

On episodic and semantic memory: a caution against a prosaic curriculum

I thought it might be it might be useful to share the following four research papers on episodic and semantic memory: 1. Interaction between episodic and semantic memory networks in the acquisition and consolidation of novel spoken words, 2. How do episodic and semantic memory contribute to episodic foresight in young children? 3. Hippocampal Activation during Episodic and… Continue reading On episodic and semantic memory: a caution against a prosaic curriculum

pedagogy · Progressivism

An argument for discovery learning in early years classrooms

In this blog, I intend to address the issue of discovery learning. Critics have claimed that discovery learning has been the dominant ideology in education for much of the past 50 years. Some consider it to be the cause of many of the problems suffered by education during that period. I want to address the… Continue reading An argument for discovery learning in early years classrooms

Powerful knowledge research news

Free paper (2018) – Reclaiming education: ‘fake news’, research and social justice

“It feels like a sign of the times that, in 2017, dictionary publisher Collins named the term ‘fake news’ word of the year. Education has not been immune from its own forms of  ‘fake news’  Of course, there are policies that are well informed, drawing evidence from research, policy and practice to offer high-quality frameworks to guide educational… Continue reading Free paper (2018) – Reclaiming education: ‘fake news’, research and social justice

pedagogy

Some thoughts on academic and non-academic subjects

In his latest two blogs, Old Andrew defines an academic subject as: (…)  one where mastery of it was best characterised by further study. The people who are best at history, are historians and they study history. In this blog, I offer an alternative view. I do not suggest that Old Andrew is wrong in his… Continue reading Some thoughts on academic and non-academic subjects

Policy

Social objects, Space-time and Quirks in Educational policy making

In 1906, Albert Einstein announced his special theory of relativity. Soon after Hermann Minkowski, his former college teacher in mathematics developed a new schema for thinking about space and time: Space-time does not evolve, it simply exists. When we examine a particular object from the stand point of its space-time representation, every particle is located… Continue reading Social objects, Space-time and Quirks in Educational policy making