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?
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
Introduction This blog, outlines the problematic nature of Ofsted’s definition of learning, offering an alternative 1. Ofsted defines learning as: (…) an alteration in long term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned 2. Learning causes alterations in memory but so does forgetting. You could easily replace learning with forgetting and Ofsted’s definition would work equally as well. Ofsted suffers… Continue reading On Ofsted’s definition of learning and designing an alternative
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
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
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
A recent article in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) entitled DfE and Ofsted at odds over exams caught my attention. The article suggests that the DfE has taken umbrage at the decision by “Ofsted (is) to downgrade the use of exam results as a measure of school quality”. There is an escalating confrontation between the DfE and… Continue reading Ofsted must have this confrontation with the DfE