Category Archives: Featured

Reframing the debate: It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it

For the past few years I’ve regularly railed against anyone who claims that either there is no debate about the best way to teach, or that said debate isn’t worth having because the

Practice vs. talent: Five principles for effective teaching

Are we the way we are because of our natures or is talent just the product of hard work? Which matters more natural ability of practice? A few years ago my mother

Is resilience even a thing?

There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell. G. K. Chesterton Resilience – being able to bounce back from setbacks and cope with challenges – seems an

Everyone values critical thinking, don’t they?

NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form

Why group socialisation theory argues against grammar schools

My last post was written to explain why I thought ‘grammar schools for all’ was probably an unworkable idea. I introduced Judith Rich Harris’s group socialisation theory to support my arguments, but

Is “our knowledge” different from theirs?

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest

The Great Education Debate

Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate. Hubert H. Humphrey With increasing frequency, someone will pop up on social media to announce to the world that debating


Like most people involved in education, I believe in social justice. I want all children, no matter their backgrounds or starting points, to have the best chance of achieving well. I want

Didau’s Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the science of classification. As such it’s useful for ordering items within a domain into different categories. Contrary to popular understanding, although taxonomies can be hierarchical, they don’t have to

Global warming in education: Why Schleicher is wrong

Without data you’re just another person with an opinion. Andreas Schleicher As we all know – well, most of us – the climate is changing as a result of human behaviour. Maybe

What’s so great about making mistakes?

To err is human. Alexander Pope Making mistakes is an inevitable part of life. We’re all wrong about something at some point. Equally obviously, contending with failure, learning to drag ourselves up

What’s the point of school?

Education is a technology that tries to make up for what the human mind is innately bad at. Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate Schools have only ever existed in cultures where culturally specific