3D Education

I am finding Charles Koch’s framework for education more and more useful. If nothing else it helps me place some of the drier research on things like dual-coding and spaced retrieval in the context of a richer, more human approach and what Jeremy Barnes calls “Albert Hall Moments”.…

Open IT

Like many people involved in IT in schools, I’m currently thrashing around trying to work out a sensible curriculum. Anyway, an “anonymous user” made a suggestion in the comments that sounded good. Why not use Google Moderator to try to collate as many people’s ideas, questions, concerns and thoughts on an IT curriculum?…

Wittgenstein, Popper and Education

A little bit of history goes a long way – and certainly puts some of the 21st Century Learning rhetoric in perspective.

“The Pedagogic Institute had been established to further the Austrian educational reform program. This attempted to steer education away from a ‘drill school’ approach, in which schoolchildren were treated as empty vessels to be filled by the accumulation of dictated knowledge and respect for authority, toward seeking children’s active engagement through self-discovery and problem solving.

To teach by theme or by subject

There’s a report here from Pearson about whether to teach by theme or by subject. It goes over the Rose Review, the Cambridge Primary Review, current research and some case studies of successful schools in the UK. Then it looks at successful models in Singapore, Finland, Canada, Korea and Australia.…

The importance of estimation

Teaching children how to estimate properly is something I need to improve on.

As Jo Boaler points out in The Elephant in the Classroom:

“When an official report in the UK was commissioned to examine the mathematics needed in the workplace the reviewers found that estimation was the most useful activity.…

Engineers do maths, but not how they’re taught

In 2006, Julie Gainsburg studied structural engineers at work for over 70 hours.She found that although they use maths extensively, they rarely use standard procedures. [via the excellent The Elephant in the Classroom.]

“Recognizing and defining the problem and wrangling it into a solvable shape are often part of the work; methods for solving have to be chosen or adapted from multiple possibilities, or even invented; multiple solutions are usually possible; and identifying the “best” route is rarely a clear-cut determination, thanks to the competing priorities of various parties …

[the traditional maths curriculum] with its focus on performing computational manipulations, is unlikely to prepare students for the problem-solving demands of the high-tech workspace”


“Not another gym”

Geelong Grammar School is Australia’s largest co-educational boarding school, It is over 150 years old, and full of tradition. I’d never heard of it until recently.

Its mission statement (as found on its website) is not a million miles away from any of the school mission statements you find here in England:

Geelong Grammar School offers an exceptional Australian education …

Through first class teaching and facilities, exceptional pastoral care and sound Christian values, we inspire our students to flourish, to embrace their learning opportunities and to lead positive, meaningful and engaged lives.

BBC News – When do children become criminally responsible?

Following a series of high-profile cases involving young defendents, the question of the age of criminal responsibility in the UK has been raised.<br />
<br />
Some child experts argue that children who commit offences needed to be treated differently from adult criminals.<br