Tag Archives: Psychology

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

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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

The Working Memory Model – a brief guide for teachers (and A’ level students)

It’s interesting to see how cognitive science has recently become interesting to teachers. The field has some useful models and findings when it comes to understanding memory and motivational processes; some of which are quite applicable to teaching. It’s worth … 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

Posted in Philosophy of education | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in General teaching | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

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

Everyone starts with an ‘A’: Is fear a better motivator than aspiration?

A recent study by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) argues that teachers should consider giving all students an ‘A’ grade at the start of the year on the basis that there is a … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Overcoming exam anxiety

An interesting article by Annie Murphy Paul on overcoming exam anxiety to improve test performance. She says: “Many capable, hard-working students perform poorly on exams because they’ve overtaxed their “working memory” … “When students are anxious about how they’ll do … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Working memory and differentiation

‘Differentiation’ is one of those ‘slippery’ terms that can mean different things to different people. I often find some of the strategies offered to be a bit incoherent and often question how evidence-based they really are. Here’s a possible alternative … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology for teachers | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

APA Learning & Memory digest

Having found a helpful BPS blog, I thought I’d see what the APA (the US equivalent) might have: APA: Education APA: Learning & memory Whilst browsing I found an interesting short article on student avoidance strategies in mathematics that might … Continue reading

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