Category Archives: myths

Is it just me or is Sugata Mitra an irresponsible charlatan?

Knowledge comes by eyes always open and working hands; and there is no knowledge that is not power. Ralph Waldo Emerson When I first saw physicist, Sugata Mitra speak about his Hole

Does technology have the power to transform education?

Disruptors is a series of articles and opinion pieces commission by Virgin all loosely connected under the theme “Is education keeping up with the 21st century?” I like to think I can

When is a bad idea a bad idea?

While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others. Christopher Hitchens Twitter exploded into

Is displaying students’ work worth the effort?

Of all the observations I made about Michaela School, one which proved particularly controversial was their decision not put display children’s work. The rationale given for this was twofold. It takes teachers

The fetish of marking

Even the most valuable fetishes will turn into dusts and ashes! Mehmet Murat Ildan Fetishism hasn’t always been about rubber and high heels. The word originates from the Portuguese feitico, meaning an

Right brain/left brain bollocks

I’m frequently sent unsolicited emails from chancers and PR companies asking me to guest post this or publicise that. Some people even go to the trouble and addressing their requests to me rather

Does ADHD exist?

One of the few things I remember agreeing with when I heard Ken Robinson talking about changing educational paradigms was his observation that diagnoses of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) fall as you travel

5 questions to guard against availability bias and made-up data

The cost of bad data is the illusion of knowledge – Stephen Hawking What’s more likely to kill you? A shark or a hot water tap? We’ve all heard stories of killer

A request: Have you experienced any craziness in your school?

If there’s something you really want to believe, that’s what you should question the most. Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) So. I’ve started work on my next book, provisionally (and provocatively) entitled,

Intuition vs evidence: the power of prediction

I wrote earlier in the week about why, despite it’s limitations, research is better than a hunch. Since then, I’ve been reading Daniel Willingham’s article on Real Clear Education; he says that it’s not

What works is a lot better than what doesn’t

Teachers often talk about the vital nature of their work and the fact that for the young people we teach there are no second chances. I’ve heard teaching compared to air traffic

The dark art of creativity

I was recently reminded of the ‘schools are killing creativity’ trope that was so prevalent a few years ago. Tempting as it may be to nod along with Ken Robinson and his cronies,