Category Archives: learning

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

Cargo cult teaching, cargo cult learning

…it is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives… Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Aphorism, 1620 Cargo cults grew up on

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’