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I have argued elsewhere that (human) learning is the process of becoming part of an enduring collection of people who are mutually engaged in a shared endeavour, they have shared purposes and shared ways of working. In this context, I argued that teaching should involve inducting young people into such communities. However, this clearly creates a problem for schools. ...continue reading "Why traditional schools can never be effective"

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During my inaugural I asked participants to rank how important they thought a number of different possible 'learning outcomes' would be in 2033. The results are shown in Figure 1 below. As you can see the highest ranked item was ...continue reading "What should be learnt?"

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Bryan Caplan provides comprehensive evidence to show that schools (actually formal education more broadly) is very effective at signalling that individuals are ...continue reading "Is school the problem?"

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There is a lot of talk about gamification in education and to a lesser extent using real games to enhance learning in schools. By real games I mean ones which have been developed for the leisure market, their primary focus being on entertainment rather than learning. Findings from the NP3 research suggested that the use of real games ...continue reading "Using real games"

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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"

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Effective professional development (PD) - professional learning if you prefer - is critical to maintaining and enhancing practice (and thus learning) in schools. However, the most common forms of PD for teachers tend not to be effective - in the sense of leading to positive changes in practice which lead to improvements in young people's learning. This begs the question - what does effective PD look like? ...continue reading "Characteristics of effective CPD"

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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?"

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Schools and teachers are constrained by accountability and assessment regimes. However, in my experience schools and teachers have a great deal of agency - they can and do respond very differently to similar external pressures. For example ...continue reading "Teachers have more power than they think"

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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"

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