Romanticism vs the Enlightenment: Meta-beliefs in education

“Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.” James Baldwin Before claiming, as

Reading difficulty is a teaching problem not an intelligence problem

Education is a technology that tries to make up for what the human mind is innately bad at. Children don’t have to go to school to learn how to walk, talk, recognize

More guff on creativity

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. (One of my favourite fake Einstein quotes.) What is it about creativity which makes so many otherwise sensible people say such silly

Learning about learning: What every teacher needs to know

When I trained to be teacher I was told little or nothing about how children learn. Because a lot of what we intuitively suppose about the process of learning is often flatly contradicted by cognitive

January on The Learning Spy

Here, for your delight and edification, are the blogs I wrote during January: 1st January – New Year’s resolutions for teachers and school leaders  Make this year better than last! 2nd January – Varieties

Some assumptions about scripted lessons

“So long as we use a certain language, all questions that we can ask will have to be formulated in it and will thereby confirm the theory of the universe which is

Scripts: whose lesson is it anyway?

When I was 16, Whose Line Is It Anyway? first aired on UK television. The show, hosted by Clive Anderson, asked four comedians to ad lib responses to various prompts and scenarios,

Proof of progress – Part 1

Measuring progress is a big deal. I’ve written before about the many and various ways we get assessment wrong but, increasingly, I’m becoming convinced there are some ways we might get it

Ouroboros: a review

I’ve been following Greg Ashman‘s writing for some years and have always been struck by his clarity, precision, humour and single-minded sense of purpose. I haven’t always agreed with everything he’s written but

John Hattie and the magical power of prediction

“Optimism and stupidity are nearly synonymous.” Hyman G. Rickover — Speech to US Naval Post Graduate School, March 16, 1954 In this post I picked up on a rather odd comment made by Professor

A definition of learning

“For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences.” Cervantes Learning (n) 1.

Is it a ‘sin’ to tell teachers how to teach?

Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderated use rather than total abstinence. Samuel Butler According to a recent TES article, Professor