Category Archives: research

Differences and similarities  

To deny that people differ from each other is patently ridiculous. We are all unique and our uniqueness is endlessly fascinating. Our physical differences are readily apparent; some of us are taller,

Two fallacies to avoid

Avoiding logical fallacies can be tricky and, as responses to some of my recent posts has made clear, anyone who spends time debating evolutionary psychology, behaviour genetics or science in general will

Do schools matter less than we think?

Disturbingly for all of us involved in education, it seems as if schools and teaching may matter a lot less than we would like to believe. Before setting out the arguments I

What’s the point of parenting?

As an aside in a recent blog, I made the statement that, “shared environmental effects like parenting have no effect on adult’s behaviour, characteristics, values or beliefs.” This excited quite a bit

What causes behaviour?

The age-old debate as to what causes human behaviour – nature vs nurture – shows little sign of running out of steam, despite having been emphatically resolved as far as science is

Are you fooling yourself? Education and epidemiology

Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman Epidemiology

What do teachers think differentiation is?

In Why Knowledge Matters, ED Hirsch Jr sets out the case against differentiated instruction, saying, “the attempt to individualize the content of the language arts curriculum has been a quixotic idea that has

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