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
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?”
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
Foucault describes data without a theoretical framework as a kind of “blind empiricism” that yields data but very little explanation. What is required is both theory and data. Paul Trowler describes the relationship between theory and data as a “wicked problem”. Wicked issues being: poorly-understood have many causal levels have no clear stopping point, where a… Continue reading Theory and data in educational research is a wicked problem
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Biesta (2014) makes the point that over the last few years there has been an ongoing discussion about the place of knowledge in the curriculum: In a number of recent publications, the British sociologist Michael Young has argued that there is a need to bring knowledge back into the discussion about the curriculum (for example,… Continue reading The dangers for education of a simplistic ’cause and effect’ model of knowledge development
In my last BLOG I described a feeling that some BLOGGERS have the attitude that science has the answers, and everything else is just various shades of “piffle”. Of course by science I mean the scientific method. Or, in reality some kind of discursive socially constructed variant of the scientific method that has, in some… Continue reading We have Education as Science, and now Art but where is the Social?