Category Archives: myths

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,

Why AfL might be wrong, and what to do about it

Some cows are so sacred that any criticism of them is fraught with the risk of bumping up against entrenched cognitive bias. We are fantastically bad at recognizing that our beliefs are

Everything we’ve been told about teaching is wrong, and what to do about it!

It was great to be back at the IOE for Pedagoo London 2014, and many thanks must go to @hgaldinoshea & @kevbartle for organising such a wonderful (and free!) event. As ever there’s never enough time to

Old Hat(tie)? Some things you ought to know about effect sizes

Ever since Hattie published Visible Learning back in 2009 the Effect Size has been king. For those of you who don’t know, an effect size is a mechanism for comparing the relative

The Cult of Outstanding™: the problem with ‘outstanding’ lessons

First of all I need to come clean. Up until pretty recently I was a fully paid up member of the Cult of Outstanding™. Last January I considered myself to be a

Is praise counter productive?

I had an interesting discussion with Tim Taylor this morning. He said,  “At best, praising effort has a neutral or no effect when students are successful, but is likely to be negative when

Hats, schmats: what really matters is the quality of debate

I feel the need to make a few things clear. A few days ago I wrote this: Six Silly Hats (When is it OK to mock stuff you think is daft?) and some

Six silly hats (When is it OK to mock stuff you think is daft?)

Who doesn’t love wearing silly hats? Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without popping on a paper hat and looking like a complete buffoon for the duration. But does this kind