Category Archives: learning

Why mini-plenaries are a waste of time

Plenary is an interesting word. It originally meant absolute, without reservation or qualification. The pope used to offer plenary indulgences to crusaders absolving them in advance of any sin they committed in

The Trouble with Transfer – my #rED16 slides

Today saw another triumphant outing for Tom Bennett’s grassroots conference, researchED. This year I ran a session investigating the research into how we transfer what we learn between different contexts, the slides

A conversation about the best way to teach a new concept

A few mornings ago, Rufus William got in touch with an interesting request: @LearningSpy fancy doing a quick maths activity? You just need something to write with some paper — Rufus (@RufusWilliam)

What are they learning?

Learning is never neutral. Although I have no empirical evidence, I’m pretty sure that it’s rare indeed for children – or indeed anyone – to learn nothing in a given situation. My contention

What every teacher needs to know about… rote learning

As per, here’s this month’s Teach Secondary column for you delight and edification. These days it is rare indeed for children to be taught much by rote, or, to use a less pejorative

Learning is liminal

I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move.

What’s the starting point for all learning?

“No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.” George Bernard Shaw UPDATED 7th February 6.30pm This morning in answer to a question about whether children

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,

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

Why ‘mastery learning’ may prove to be a bad idea

“It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.” Disraeli What could be wrong with wanting students to master difficult content? Nothing. For the most

Student voice: windmills of the mind

Pray look better, Sir … those things yonder are no giants, but windmills. Cervantes Does it matter if students like their teachers? Is it worth knowing if students don’t maths or hate