I was interested over the Christmas period to follow, and engage with, the debate about the Progressive-Neo-Traditionalist dichotomy. I have also read some critiques of the dichotomy like this one by Stephen Tierney. It seemed to me that this particular blog conforms to the “no position” position. This usually entails a critique of the dichotomy before suggesting… Continue reading On non-cognitive skills and the “no position” position
Introduction In this blog I would like to offer a view of the progressive v traditionalist dichotomy through the lens of structure, culture and agency. I am also going to argue that ideas can exist as material objects in the social world. There is a proviso; the ideas must have the potential to be understood.… Continue reading Traditionalist and progressive knowledge: causally related but analytically distinct
There are, on the internet, numerous lists categorising progressivism and traditionalism. Mostly they are wrong for one simple reason, the dividing line between the two is not pedagogical but philosophical. You can use direct instruction in both approaches but in different ways and for different reasons. It is not only how it is taught but… Continue reading Recent history shows the value of the Prog v Trad divide
I’ve been thinking about feedback. More specifically how do you know whether it is any good or not? 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. Unfortunately, feedback has become a virtue as a “thing in itself”. I’m not convinced… Continue reading On feedback in education: norm circles 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
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?”
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