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There seems to be a widespread belief that you need an ATAR to get into an Australian university. Indeed, based on their research with students and teachers, O’Shea & Groves (2020) identified that ...continue reading "Do you need an ATAR to get into Uni?"

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By Dennis Sherwood

In the summer of 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak led to the cancellation in the UK of all school exams. What happened next has been described as a scandal, a disaster, a fiasco, as has been reported extensively elsewhere. In the quest to discover what went wrong, ...continue reading "Why are exam grades unreliable?"

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Schools tend to focus heavily on end of Year 12 exams (e.g. HSCs and the ATAR in Australia) that will enable students to progress to university. However, most students do NOT go on to university and of those who do many do not rely on an ATAR to get their place. It is time that schools focussed on the success ...continue reading "Starting to think about Additional Routes To Success"

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On 3 April 2019, the Department for Education published a document called ‘Realising the potential of technology in education’. Now I don’t want to get hung up on the name of the document, but having read it, I ought to draw your attention to something fairly basic here. The word ‘realise’, according to most dictionaries, can be used to mean ‘become fully aware of something’ or ‘cause something to happen’. This DfE strategy document doesn’t ‘realise’ anything. ...continue reading "The DfE EdTech Strategy doesn’t ‘realise’ anything – But Teachers do"

Here is the comparison of elements of the new English Government's Edtech Strategy with the earlier Educational Technology Action Group that I made at the Westminster Education Forum on the 25th April 2019. ...continue reading "ETAG and the EdTech Strategy"

We need a debate about what the purpose of education is today and therefore what should schools be helping learners to learn. In this video I highlight why the purpose of schools is changing ... ...continue reading "What is the purpose of education?"

Extending my previous post on curriculum I wanted to explore the issues of who should define the details of what students do in school and the extent to which they should have a choice about whether to participate or not. This builds upon work in the Schome Park Programme, which used a wiki, forum and island in Teen Second Life™ to give hundreds of 13 to 65 year olds a radically different experience of what education could be like. ...continue reading "More thoughts on curriculum"

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Collins English Dictionary defines curriculum as "all the different courses of study that are taught in a school, college, or university".  This is a rather narrow definition, focussing as it does on the explicit curriculum. I am going to redefine curriculum as what students need to learn (with my focus being specifically on what school age learners need to learn). ...continue reading "Some thoughts on curriculum"

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Collins English Dictionary defines pedagogy as "the study and theory of the methods and principles of teaching". Personally I think that is too teacher centric, so I am going to use pedagogy to mean the theory and practices of (effective) ways to support human learning. ...continue reading "Some thoughts on pedagogy"

How a radical funding system could transform our support of special educational needs

All around the world funders keep coming up with new funding mechanisms for special education. They write new policies and create new structures, processes and paperwork. They create pots of money that follow the individual or give prescribed or blanket funds to schools. The challenges of these systems are well documented. Equally well documented is their resistance to change. In England, for example studies in the early 2000s suggested we needed a system which: ...continue reading "Is there a better way to pay?"