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On DT Willingham: the difference between “thinking well” and expertise

I think DT Willingham has something to say about education. He has identified, or at least publicised, a real issue for teachers and that is the relationship between skills and knowledge. In particular, how we teach skills and such ephemeral issues as critical thinking, and indeed whether it is possible to teach these things. I… Continue reading On DT Willingham: the difference between “thinking well” and expertise

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Do multiple choice questions assess “higher order thinking”?

I’ve been pondering whether multiple choice questions assess “higher order thinking“. Daisy Christodoulou thinks they do: It is true that many selected-response questions do measure only shallow learning, but well-designed selected-response items can probe student understanding in some depth.’ Citing Dylan Wiliam: Wiliam gives some good examples of these types of question This example is… Continue reading Do multiple choice questions assess “higher order thinking”?

Philosophy of education

On critical thinking and educational research: the fields of conflict

“One of the major differences I see in the political climate today is that there is less collective support for coming to critical consciousness – in communities, in institutions, among friends.” I wrote about a particular meme in my last blog. The view that critical thinking is indivisible from knowledge. This has been adopted to the extent… Continue reading On critical thinking and educational research: the fields of conflict

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On Mitra’s “no holes in the wall” and the DT Willingham meme: weak research needs clever discourse to survive

I wanted to try and thread some recent twitter debates together and make the point that what often looks superficially to be random different issues are in fact related. I’m going touch upon the Sugata Mitra debate. Mitra is accused of poor research. I would describe it as “discursive research”. It generates discourse, the potential for… Continue reading On Mitra’s “no holes in the wall” and the DT Willingham meme: weak research needs clever discourse to survive

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On the problem of knowledge – part two: progressivism and the primacy of skills #blogsync

This is the second part of a contribution to the #blogsync Knowledge debate. In my last BLOG I offered a progressive view of knowledge and rejected Govian pedagogy and neo-traditionalism. Old Andrew sums up the neo-traditionalist view: To begin with, the question of how we select which knowledge is worth learning changes. While progressives have always… Continue reading On the problem of knowledge – part two: progressivism and the primacy of skills #blogsync

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Constructivist teaching methods are more attuned to human cognition than those advocated by Traditionalists.

In my last BLOG I discussed the social aspects of cognition and cast further doubt on the fundamental arguments that substantiate traditional teaching methods,  responding to David Didau’s pedagogic prodding and probing. It is fair to say that traditional methods of Teaching and Learning are heavily reliant on the work of  Kirschner, Sweller and Clarke… Continue reading Constructivist teaching methods are more attuned to human cognition than those advocated by Traditionalists.

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A response to David Didau: Constructivism and Social Cognition

This BLOG is in response to David Didau.  I sometimes disagree with David, and I hasten to add agree as well. His constant pedagogic poking and prodding certainly makes you think and enriches the Teaching and Learning conversation. That said, I think this article is problematic. In the BTL conversation after the article David asked me to evidence my responses. Rather than engage… Continue reading A response to David Didau: Constructivism and Social Cognition

Education and Culture · Education and Politics · OFSTED · Philosophy of education · Policy and Practice

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

Assessment For Learning · Education and Politics · OFSTED · Policy and Practice · Teaching and Learning

On feedback in education: norm circles and evidence proxies

I’ve been thinking about feedback. More specifically how do you know whether it is any good or not? Despite the research I’m not convinced that feedback is a good thing per se. Good feedback is a good thing, bad feedback isn’t. Unfortunately, feedback has become a virtue as a “thing in itself”. I’m not convinced… Continue reading On feedback in education: norm circles and evidence proxies

Education and Politics · Research

The question posed was “are all classrooms unique?”

The question posed was “are all classrooms unique?” They are but not every aspect of a classroom is unique. The classroom is a microcosm of the social world. So what is unique? The individual students are unique. They have agency and a unique psycho-biography. On the other hand individual students also have dispositions conditioned by society.… Continue reading The question posed was “are all classrooms unique?”