Category Archives: Philosophy of education

Goodbye Mr Chips: can research tell teachers how to teach?

Back in October, I took part in a debate at the Battle of Ideas. Hosted by Kevin Rooney and featuring Professor Frank Furedi, Jack Marwood and Munira Mirza, the discussion focused on the relevance of research to classroom practice. The … Continue reading

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Validity and Values: The debate about education research.

“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … Continue reading

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The restless relationship between science and teaching

“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those … Continue reading

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Knowledge vs Understanding

Subject knowledge has enjoyed a recent rehabilitation within education. Whilst there are groups ideologically opposed to teaching content (either on the grounds that it ‘stifles creativity’ or amounts to ‘indoctrination’), the simple fact that children and schools are typically assessed … Continue reading

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Beyond ideology: Can education move beyond the traditionalist vs progressive ‘debate’?

Education is now in crisis (and in one sense that’s a good thing) Thomas Kuhn proposed that science periodically evolved through dramatic paradigm shifts. All scientific theories are open to refinement / revolution but the process isn’t continuous. When anomalies … Continue reading

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‘You can always look it up’ … or can you?

E.D. Hirsch has become something of a figure of controversy in education after being quoted by Michael Gove in support for his curriculum reforms. A number of ‘Hirsch schools’ have opened in the US and there is increasing interest in … Continue reading

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