Tag Archives: Evidence

Lesson observations: Would picking a top set get you a better grading?

Lesson observations: Approach with caution! For any measure of teaching effectiveness to be useful, it needs to be valid. To be valid, a measure also needs to be reliable. Reliability represents the consistency of a measure. A measure is said … Continue reading

Posted in Education policy | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Has the marshmallow melted? Interventions involving executive functioning may have little effect.

What are executive functions? Executive functioning is, in some ways, a pesky cognitive ability to define as it’s implicated in so many different functions. It’s a hypothesised capacity for things like problem solving, reasoning, planning and organisation, inhibiting action or … Continue reading


Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Can we teach students effective ‘revision skills’?

There’s some interesting evidence to suggest that well applied study skills can have an important influence on student outcomes. Indeed, perhaps the key reason that girls tend to academically outperform boys is related to the effective use of study strategies. … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A refreshing lack of certainty: Reflections on researchED 2014

Yesterday, I had the enormous pleasure of attending researchED 14 and giving a talk (indulging in a rant) about the prevalence of pseudoscientific ideas within education. The talk appeared to be filmed, so if it turns up on the (shiny) … Continue reading

Posted in Research Lead | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Does visual mapping help revision?

Visual maps, whether in form of mind maps or the more complex concept maps, are a mainstay of revision advice given to pupils in secondary schools. People use such mapping techniques for many other purposes; for example to organise or … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

What’s important about subject knowledge?

I had the great pleasure to spend the day finding out about University Learning in Schools (ULiS); a two-year project investigating whether partnering up teachers and PhD research students could enhance KS3 teacher’s subject knowledge and raise pupil achievement in … Continue reading

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Conflicted about cognitive conflict

I’ve written before about the importance of challenging children’s misconceptions when it comes to teaching. “Psychologists from Piaget to Sweller couch learning in terms of the acquisition and refinement of schema. One of the limitations, I hypothesise, of direct instruction … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

What skills are worth teaching?

The argument regarding the relative importance of teaching generic or transferable skills and teaching the inflexible knowledge which underlies more flexible thinking, is one that divides many teachers and, in my opinion, typically generates more heat than light. Part of … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Meta-analysis in education: Some cautionary tales from other disciplines

Whilst meta-analysis is a potentially powerful tool, it’s not without its limitations. A good summary of some of the general issues with meta-analysis can be found here. Within education, meta-analysis has recently become highly prominent. John Hattie’s work is probably the … Continue reading

Posted in Research Lead | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The hard problems of soft-skills

Since the beginning of my teaching career, there has been periodic interest in how schools can explicitly modify the character of our students. My first encounter was emotional well-being and projects like SEAL. Reports appeared to suggest that SEAL had … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments