Tag Archives: Daniel Willingham

The trouble with troublesome knowledge

A recent blog post made some interesting assertions about knowledge. In doing so it presented a series of opinions as facts. That is not a criticism – we all have a tendency

Can thinking hard be incidental? A conversation with Daniel Willingham

For some time now, Rob Coe has been suggesting that a good proxy for students learning in lessons is that they “have to think hard”. This seemed eminently sensible and I’ve written

Does ‘brain training’ increase intelligence?

In my last post I outlined the differences between fluid and crystallised intelligence and argued that fluid intelligence (Gf) – the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired

The trouble with transfer: How can we make learning more flexible?

I define learning as the long-term retention of knowledge and skills and the ability to transfer between contexts. The retention bit is fairly straightforward and uncontroversial: if you can’t remember something tomorrow, can you

On gimmicks

What is a gimmick? The dictionary defines it as “a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or trade.” So, putting a cartoon tiger on a packet of breakfast cereal in order

From Scared Straight to Reading Wrong

He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alters things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall

Intelligent Accountability

The history of human growth is at the same time the history of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn, and the brighter dawn has always been considered illegal,

The Science of Learning

Loyal readers may remember my attempts to wade through the Top 20 Principles of Psychology for Teaching & Learning report from the APA. If you haven’t already read it, don’t bother. This remarkably

20 psychological principles for teachers #5 “Learning is dependent on practice”

This is the fifth in a series of posts unpicking the Top 20 Principles From Psychology for Teaching And Learning. In this post I investigate Principle 5: “Acquiring long-term knowledge and skill is

I ♥ rote learning

Memory is the cabinet of the imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and, the council chamber of thought. St. Basil I’ve been reading and enjoying Getting it Wrong from the

Back to School Part 4: Planning

This series of #backtoschool blogs summarises much of my thinking as it’s developed over the past few years and is aimed at new or recently qualified teachers. Each area has been distilled to 5 ‘top

Squaring the circle: can learning be easy and hard?

Regular readers will know I’ve been ploughing a furrow on this question for quite a while now. Last June I synthesised my thinking in this post: Deliberately difficult – why it’s better to make