pedagogy · Philosophy of Education

Design Thinking for Teachers 2.0: designing learning experiences for the storytelling animal

In my last blog, I introduced the concept of Design Thinking. I argued, that more organisations than ever are taking a human-centric approach to evolving their existing practices and generating new ideas. I worry education is falling behind. In this blog, I want to formalise the design process by outlining a Design Thinking model. As Ruth points out, Design Thinking is… Continue reading Design Thinking for Teachers 2.0: designing learning experiences for the storytelling animal

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

Ofsted · pedagogy

On Ofsted and policy: a confusion of knowledge

I previously wrote about a knowledge policy discourse in education dismissing thinking skills. At worst it conflates knowledge with thinking; at best it pays lip service to “thinking skills” and creativity. It is not necessarily surprising, policymakers and their SpAds have to stitch together a coherent policy narrative that makes sense to a wider audience… Continue reading On Ofsted and policy: a confusion of knowledge

pedagogy

On the clever but troublesome discourse of Cognitive Load Theory

I’ve previously written about clever discourse. It is a type of discourse that generates plausible ideas purportedly rooted in evidence. Such ideas seem unassailable,  common-sense facts from reputable sources; however, further scrutiny suggests otherwise. A classic example of clever discourse is the current government’s claim to have increased the number of children in good and… Continue reading On the clever but troublesome discourse of Cognitive Load Theory

pedagogy · Policy · Progressivism

Singapore and PISA: a policy warning for England

In this blog,  I consider whether Singapore has implemented Western ideas better than the West, which arguably has resulted in significantly improved PISA results. Based on a tweet (see below), Greg Ashman suggested I had an unusual take on Singapore’s PISA success: (…) Katharine Birbalsingh commented on Finland’s decline in performance in the Programme for International… Continue reading Singapore and PISA: a policy warning for England

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