Category Archives: research

What do teachers believe?

It’s well-established that various ‘myths’ about how students’ learn are remarkably persistent in the face of contradictory evidence. In 2014, Paul Howard-Jones’ article, Neuroscience and education: myths and messages revealed the extent of teachers’

Unprofessional misjudgement

No, I’m not using evidence, but I’m not using prejudice either. I am exercising my professional judgement. Sue Cowley It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make

Evidence and disadvantage: How useful is the EEF Toolkit?

Although everyone’s education is important, the education of disadvantaged students is, arguably, of much greater importance than that of students from more advantaged backgrounds. The more privileged your background, the less it’s likely

Can all of learning be summed up by test scores?

Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not all that bothered about test scores. I mean, obviously I’d far prefer pupils did well rather than poorly on a summative exam, particularly if it is

The power of ‘best bets’

The other day I read Greg Ashman’s post Why Education is like smoking which talked about the way teachers often generalise from anecdotes in the same way that when smokers are confronted with

Hirsch vs Engelmann: “No scientific basis for Direct Instruction”?

No one seems clear who first said it, but it’s become an abiding truth of journalism that, “If a dog bites a man, that is not news. But if a man bites

What are ‘thinking skills’ and can we teach them?

…from a purely theoretical standpoint alone, it hardly seems plausible that a strategy of inquiry that must necessarily be broad enough to be applicable to a wide range of disciplines and problems can

John Hattie and the magical power of prediction

“Optimism and stupidity are nearly synonymous.” Hyman G. Rickover — Speech to US Naval Post Graduate School, March 16, 1954 In this post I picked up on a rather odd comment made by Professor

Is it what you do or the way that you do it?

Alex Quigley has just responded to my post Two Stars and a Bloody Wish! with the revelation that it works for him and others: Using a ‘Two Stars and a Wish’ model ironically meant

Phonics is not a cure for cancer

Do antibiotics work? Well, that rather depends on what you’ve got. If you’ve got a viral infection like influenza antibiotics will be useless. To fight viral infections you need to use antiviral

In praise of signposts

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. C. S. Lewis If you’re not sure which way to

Is growth mindset pseudoscience?

Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. Carl Sagan What’s the difference