Punctuated Equilibrium, Progress and Schools

Piers YoungThoughtsLeave a Comment

Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology that seems to fit well with progress in students’ learning. What is Punctuated Equilibrium Punctuated Equilibrium was first proposed in the 1970s by Nile’s Elderedge and Stephen Jay Gould. They argued that while most of us think that evolution happens gradually, the fossil record showed  evolution happens in spurts. Stasis (or equilibrium) … Read More

Praxis – The Rarest of the Three

Piers YoungThoughtsLeave a Comment

Aristotle divided human activities into three broad categories: thinking (theoria), making (poiesis), and doing (praxis). Put another way, I suppose, they are the why, the what, and the how. In very coarse terms, and trying to link it to rhetoric,  I wonder how it matches the various posts I read on Twitter and blogs. The categories match well but I’m struggling … Read More

What Shaolin Monks Taught Me About Teaching

Piers YoungLife, ThoughtsLeave a Comment

The best teacher training I have ever had was from a 34th Generation Shaolin  Warrior Monk, Shi Yan Jun. Over the years, I have had in-school training such as INSETs, after-school twilight sessions, teacher observations (given and received). I have had off-site training run by battle-hardened professionals but sweetened with coffee, fancy biscuit and lecture notes. And I have followed … Read More

Early Steps in Blended Learning

Piers YoungThoughtsLeave a Comment

I think a penny has finally dropped. I’ve been mulling over blended learning for a while but have never quite summoned up the energy. I’ve also been thinking about ways I can apply the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle to my teaching, so I can spend more time doing the fun parts of teaching. Slower than most, I suspect, but … Read More

The Master and His Emissary

Piers YoungAsides, Thoughts2 Comments

I keep on thinking about the below. There was once a wise spiritual master, who was the ruler of a small but prosperous domain, and who was known for his selfless devotion to his people. As his people flourished and grew in number, the bounds of this small domain spread; and with it the need to trust implicitly the emissaries … Read More

Navigating Education

Piers YoungNotes, ThoughtsLeave a Comment

I almost never go back to the things I highlight on my Kindle. So a mini-holiday project was to stop me being quite such a knowledge tourist. I’ve built a little tool to make it easier to export, browse and actually think about my Kindle highlights.At the moment it’s set up to randomly send me a highlight by email every … Read More

Delivery mechanisms for values

Piers YoungNotes, ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Two interesting things I’ve seen recently have got me thinking. The first was Mark Slouka’s comment that The humanities, done right, are the crucible within which our evolving notions of what it means to be fully human are put to the test; they teach us, incrementally, endlessly, not what to do but how to be…. They are thus, inescapably, political. … Read More

The Dynamo and the Social

Piers YoungNotes, ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Thought this was an interesting piece at Slate based on Paul David’s paper. There are some obvious parallels with personal or mobile computing and education and the difficulties we have with using it well. “Electric light bulbs were available by 1879, and there were generating stations in New York and London by 1881. Yet a thoughtful observer in 1900 would … Read More

Simple Current Affairs Game for Children

Piers YoungAsides, ThoughtsLeave a Comment

The following seems to be going down well with my class. They are both enjoying it and seem to be learning more about current affairs at the same time. What it is Once a week when the children (who are 10 or 11 years old) come into class for morning registration, I’ll have something like this up on the whiteboard. … Read More