pedagogy · Philosophy of Education · Policy

PISA on Michaela: the politics of teacher-directed versus enquiry-based instructional design

Andreas Schleicher, a statistician and researcher in the field of education, is the Division Head and coordinator of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the OECD Indicators of Education Systems programme. He recently made a visit to Michaela Community School, which you can read about in a blog entitled “where working hard… Continue reading PISA on Michaela: the politics of teacher-directed versus enquiry-based instructional design

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

pedagogy · Philosophy of Education · Policy

Design Thinking for Teachers 1.0: centring the learning experience

In earlier blogs, I describe educational learning as a series of designed learning experiences.  In this blog, I want to focus on the issue of Design Thinking.  As with previous blogs, Ruth Swailes provides concrete examples. Originally conceptualised to address physical objects designers increasingly apply Design Thinking to complex interactions like customer experiences. In an educational context,… Continue reading Design Thinking for Teachers 1.0: centring the learning experience

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

Ofsted · pedagogy · Philosophy of Education

On Ofsted’s definition of learning and designing an alternative

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

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