Tag Archives: Guided instruction

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

Great teacher talk

The ‘war’ on Teacher Talk Time was one of the more depressing developments in my teaching career. Obviously secondary students will rapidly get bored if they are subjected to lectures – no one is advocating that teachers should drone on … Continue reading

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

What can we learn from the failure of minimally guided instruction?

The failure of ‘pure discovery’ learning: The case against ‘pure’ discovery learning is pretty damning. A number of fairly recent papers have consistently reported that minimally guided instruction simply doesn’t work. For example: Mayer – American Psychologist, 2004 Klahr and … Continue reading

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Does teaching style really matter?

In the debate between more traditional and progressive approaches to teaching, one of the factors that serves to polarise positions are the unfair stereotypes of teaching style. Those favouring direct instruction are frequently painted as promoting ‘Gradgrind’ style rote-learning – … Continue reading

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Vygotsky: a champion of didactic teaching

The constructivist claim that knowledge is socially constructed and driven by peer-interaction is frequently defended by references to the theories of Lev Vygotsky. Most major initiatives during my time as a teacher have been (apparently) been based on the writings of … Continue reading

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A toast to the death of pedagogy

The original meaning of ‘pedagogue’ was apparently a slave who escorted Roman children to school. The term ‘pedagogy’ is almost universally equated with constructivist theories of learning – certainly whenever I hear the term, I think of Piaget, Vygotsky, et … Continue reading

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Guided instruction

Here’s a challenging (academic) paper that casts doubt upon many of the assumptions embedded in teacher training and professional development. Its conclusions are at odds with many of the ways we are told ‘how to teach’ by external consultants and … Continue reading

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , , | 2 Comments