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What Counts As Evidence in Changing Practice?

(This is one of my longer posts, but it necessarily deals with quite a lot of detail – I’ve tried to shorten it through the inclusion of links to further detail) A few weeks ago I was embroiled in a heated (though ultimately futile) argument with a teacher from Australia who claimed that I was training teachers in a methodology (Project-Based Learning) for which there was no positive evidence. Even as I was presenting the evidence, I knew it would make little difference to his view: for all the supposed impartiality of educational researchers, personal bias and the cherry-picking of …

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Biting on Twitter Has Consequences

Recently I wrote a blog post about the aggressive tone of some teachers on Twitter. I had ten times the number of views  compared with any previous post, so I assume it struck a chord. Because one of the stock defences by  such people when challenged is to complain of ‘ad hominem’ personal attacks, I made no direct references to individuals. I’d still rather not, but a post at the weekend by Greg Ashman (a teacher from an independent school in Ballarat, Victoria) has given me no option but to respond in-kind. Mr Ashman had come across a flyer for our …

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Why do (some) Teachers on Twitter seem so unwilling to learn?

On a warm Saturday afternoon, a few years ago, I was working in a school (it needs to remain nameless as it would be easy to attribute names to places, and I’ve no desire to name and shame anyone in this piece). Anyway, I was facilitating a student-to-staff training session. It was quite a well-known school, not previously known for progressive pedagogy, but here were an entire cohort of teachers being respectfully asked to allow students to co-design lessons, hold regular conversations about what great learning looked like, and remember the need for engaging lessons. The teachers took all of …

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