Category Archives: learning

Why I struggle with learning objectives and success criteria

A strenuous soul hates cheap success. Ralph Waldo Emerson Broadly, I’m in favour of sharing with students the intention behind what they are being asked to do. Anything that adds clarity to

Is mimicry always a bad thing?

Make not your thoughts your prisons. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra Mimicry is the conscious or unconscious copying of experts in order. To understand the potential dangers of mimicry, it helps to understand the

What is ‘transfer’ and is it important?

Very kindly, Greg Ashman posted his thoughts on #WrongBook on his site yesterday – if you haven’t seen his ‘review’ you can find it here. I really like both the style and

Can we make learning permanent?

How can we know whether a student has learned something? To answer that we need a working definition of what we mean by learning and the one I’ve come up with 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’

Learning is invisible – my slides from #LEF15

For all those who asked for my slides after my presentation of the London Festival of Education at the IOE, here you go: #LFE15 Learning is invisible from David Didau For all

The problem with lesson planning

Time brings all things to pass. Aeschylus Because the curriculum is divided up into units – terms and lessons – our thinking about how to teach is constrained. The school year is sectioned

A defence of the fixed mindset

The growth mindset has been so universally heralded as ‘a good thing’ that it’s in danger of becoming one of those memes we think with rather than about. A number of commentators have been

Revisiting lost learning by Gerald Haigh

In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important a function as recollecting. – William James As teachers, we tend to do all in our power to prevent students from forgetting

Are we fetishising marking?

When you make something a fetish, ashes and dusts will laugh at you, because they know even the most valuable fetishes will turn into dusts and ashes! Mehmet Murat ildan Last night

Why do we overestimate the importance of differences?

“For a difference to be a difference, it must make a difference.” William James We’re all different. Obviously. Just like snowflakes, human beings are all special, unique and entirely individual. But like snowflakes,