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
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?
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
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
In my last blog, I argued that the recent National Audit Office (NAO) report about Ofsted asked the wrong question: does Ofsted measure the impact its inspections have on improving the quality of schools in England? As HMCI observed, there is a perverse incentive implicit to Ofsted measuring the impact of its own inspections. Ofsted could simply inflate grades… Continue reading On Post-2010 policy: lurking behind the veil of Ofsted data is a litany of policy related issues
The National Audit Office recently released a report entitled Ofsted’s inspection of schools. The report examines whether the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills’ (Ofsted) school inspections provide value for money. The report is insightful and a good starting point for a debate about Ofsted, however, it is also critically flawed on school improvement. This blog aims to… Continue reading On the National Audit Office (NAO) report into Ofsted: insightful but critically flawed on school improvement
OFSTED has recently appointed a new head of research. Judging by the recently launched early years report: Bold beginnings: the Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools this appointment has not come too soon. The report has been criticised by educationalists for being politicised and ideological. In this BLOG I highlight some dos and don’ts… Continue reading On OFSTED’s early years report: some dos and don’ts for Professor Mujis to consider
I’ve been thinking about feedback; more specifically, how do you know whether feedback given to students is good or otherwise? 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. You might think that is self-evident but research suggesting that feedback… Continue reading On fabricated classroom practice: norm circles, placebos and evidence proxies
Can an idea be “real” like a light bulb or a torch? Does the text of a book contain something more than just symbols on a page? Do ideas have a causal effect measurable by empirical science? I was pondering these questions whilst watching the world pour opprobrium on Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims. Few… Continue reading On the value of ideas and the search for causality in the classroom
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