Critical thinking and critical values

  I’m returning to this topic, long after the Twitter heat is off and maybe too late to be of much use to fast moving bloggers. It all seemed to start with Willingham’s article; somebody read it and told The Education Secretary Mr. Gove about it. He said; ‘Daniel Willingham again makes the point powerfully in his work when he points out that, “research from […]

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Observation: It’s science. It’s obvious. It’s observable.

What are teachers? Well, they’re teachers, obviously. What do they do? Hmm. That’s a bit more tricky. Work in schools? Spend a long time in classrooms? Do the best they can? Meet lots of different people, most of them from the future. Talk. Listen. Make plans. Have a life. Spend too much time worrying. Have long holidays. Blog a bit. I don’t know……… How do […]

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I no therefore I can. Or knot.

There’s an old country joke that you probably know. A Lost Driver stops to ask the way from a gentleman walking along the narrow lane. The Walker has the knees of his moleskins tied with baler twine and the band of his battered felt hat decorated with two cock pheasant tail feathers. The Lost Driver pulls up beside the Walker and opens his window. ‘Good […]

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Behaviour and Tough Young Teachers – the other way of looking at it

Part 2 of the new BBC Three documentary series ‘Tough Young Teachers’ was shown last week, its production supported by Teach First. Their mission is to ‘end inequality in schools’, the aim of the series ‘to show the sometimes gruelling, often life-changing journey of a new teacher on screen for the very first time.’ Part 2 was all about behaviour. Is ‘Tough Young Teachers’ a […]

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Paradigm – loose ends, tidy thinking Part 2

  Knowing about knowledge Part 2   Superficially it seems that we know enough about knowledge to be able to talk about it fluently. It comes in two forms: procedural and declaritive. Procedural knowledge can be directly applied to a task, for example solving a problem, and the knowledge is formed by doing the problem solving task. Declaritive knowledge here could be called knowledge about […]

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Paradigm – loose ends, tidy thinking Part 1

Knowing about knowledge Part 1   Ontology-Epistemology-Axiology-Pedagogy – a teacher’s paradigm. I’m writing this series of pieces as reflective research; I believe that writing is research, not merely a product of it.  It certainly helps me to clarify my own thinking and I’m grateful to you for your reading of it. The purpose is to get a better understanding of pedagogy in theory and practice, as […]

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Being pragmatic about teaching

  Two responses to my last Elephantological posting: Neil Gilbride (@nmgilbride) “Aw, no Pragmatic Realism in that piece, such is life” and Karl Bentley (@bentleykarl) “amazing blog post re pedagogy – hell to pragmatism, why what we do is equally, if not more, important”.  Thanks Neil and Karl. I set out with this series of Elephantology blogs with the hope that we could have a […]

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A herd of elephants: Paradigm, ontology, epistemology, pedagogy

  I’ve just read a blog by a teacher working in a Pupil Referral Unit, for 12 students, with several teachers and teaching assistants. It provides for primary aged students with behaviour problems and secondary aged students with conditions that apparently make them medically unfit to stay in school. This little school could be seen as markedly different from mainstream school; it’s a temporary school […]

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