A few thoughts about character education

The idea that schools should be educating students’ character has been gathering momentum in recent years. But the once distant drums have become increasingly urgent; politicians and professors, hucksters and headteachers, all

A review of The Beautiful Risk of Education by Harry Webb

I blundered into a discussion of Gert Biesta’s The Beautiful Risk of Education yesterday and was asked to justify my view that it’s ‘a bit silly’. Rather than do the hard work of writing

Slow Writing at #researchED primary literacy conference

Here are the slides I used during my researchED presentation on Slow Writing (including some we didn’t get around to looking at due to my rambling incoherence.) If you want to read

Chicken or egg? Thoughts about thinking

Which comes first? The chicken of knowledge or the egg of thinking? Over the past few years I have been advocating the view that thinking is a very shallow experience without knowledge.

Whose research is it anyway?

The TES reports today that Professor Hattie, the crown prince of education research, isn’t much keen on teachers conducting research in their classrooms. Apparently he thinks we should leave education research in

Right brain/left brain bollocks

I’m frequently sent unsolicited emails from chancers and PR companies asking me to guest post this or publicise that. Some people even go to the trouble and addressing their requests to me rather

Is differentiation a zero-sum game?

Opportunity makes a thief. Francis Bacon A zero-sum game is one in which there is a winner and a loser; if you haven’t won, you’ve lost. The term derives from game theory

The best case fallacy or, why we balls things up

OPTIMIST, n. A proponent of the doctrine that black is white. A pessimist applied to God for relief. “Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness,” said God. “No,” replied

What to do about literacy

Over the last couple of years I’ve visited over 100 schools and practically none of them have got literacy right. Now obviously I only get asked to talk to schools who feel

Curiosity: the knowledge gap

Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Samuel Johnson We’re all, to some extent, naturally curious – we long to unpick out that which is

Dipsticks: It all depends on what you mean by ‘engagement’

Yesterday I wrote a post – Does Engagement Actually Matter? – detailing some very interesting findings on the links between intrinsic motivation, enjoyment and attainment. It turns out that the more motivated

Does engagement actually matter?

Suggesting that student engagement might actually be a bad thing tend to get certain people’s dander up. There was a mild spat recently about Rob Coe reiterating that engagement was a ‘poor proxy’

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