Castle Shakespeare: Why study the Bard?

Let me give you, let me share with you, the City of Invention. For what novelists do… is to build the Houses of the Imagination, and where houses cluster together there is

How to be an English teacher: designing an English PGCE

From September I will be teaching a small group of prospective English teachers what I think they need to know in order to do a decent job as part of the new

Why I don’t think emojis should be studied in school

I have nothing against emojis, just as I have nothing against kittens, turpentine or billiards. I’m more than happy for anyone who’s minded to stroke kittens, drink turps and swan around with

Beware the nuance trap

In possibly the best titled academic paper of the year, Kieran Healy argues that nuance is, contrary to popular belief, a bad thing. He makes it clear he’s not arguing against nuance

Conscious and unconscious minds: Implications for teaching and learning literacy

This is a guest post by Hugo Kerr who got in touch with the offer that this appear first on the blog. What Hugo refers to as the ‘unconscious mind’ is, I

If not knowledge, what?

knowledge /ˈnɒlɪdʒ/ noun facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. “a thirst for knowledge” awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a

What is a broad and balanced curriculum?

Historically, the curriculum schools have taught hasn’t really mattered that much. Then, when the National Curriculum was introduced in the late 1980s, committees of experts had made all the decisions for us.

Two types of learning – which one is best?

Evolutionary biologists think of learning as being either social or asocial. Social learning is essentially copying – what is everyone else doing? – whereas asocial learning is accrued by interacting with the

Put down your crystal balls

Many of the schools I visit and work with feel under enormous pressure to predict what their students are likely to achieve in their next set of GCSEs. In the past, this

Whatever the question is, intelligence is the answer

Here are the slides I used in the talk I gave at this year’s Education Festival: Whatever the question is, intelligence is the answer from David Didau The antipathy of very many

“Understanding” and Occam’s razor

At the beginning of the 20th century, the physicists Hendrik Lorentz and Albert Einstein both concluded independently that measurements of light speed would be the same for all observers. But while both arrived at the same

A Novice→Expert Model of Learning

Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson One of the best understood principles of cognitive psychology is that novices learn and think differently to experts. These labels are domain-specific, not