Category Archives: Evidence

What Works for What?

“If you’re not using evidence, you must be using prejudice …” Kevan Collins, EEF In our brave new world of research based this and evidence informed that, I am very much swimming against the tide, because I don’t think we … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Evidence, Research | 10 Comments

The Slaying of the Mythical Beast

My partner is a big fan of The Walking Dead. He loves to sit and watch people slay the hideously deformed undead in a violent fashion. He can cope with the blood, and the guts, and the gore; he’s happy … Continue reading

Posted in Evidence, Learning | 2 Comments

The Xylophone Technique

A few years ago, I met a teacher who told me he managed his classroom ‘By Xylophone’. When he said this, my first thought was “say what?”, my second thought was “that sounds cool”, and my third thought was “how on … Continue reading

Posted in Behaviour, Creativity, Evidence | 3 Comments

The How and The Who

The thing about teaching is that anyone can do it. People do it all the time. This is not to say that anyone should be able to do it in schools; for that you need specialised training. But if you … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Evidence, Learning, Teaching, Teaching and learning | 2 Comments

Cause for Concern

‘You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time – we live no longer in the … Continue reading

Posted in Evidence, Government, Learning, Reading, Schools, Systems | 46 Comments


I’ve followed the coverage of the ResearchEd Conference with great interest. By all accounts it was a brilliant experience for those who were able to attend. Congratulations are due to Tom Bennett and Helene Galdin-O’Shea for organising the event. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Evidence | Tagged | 1 Comment

Willingham on Willingham

Sometimes the direct approach works best: you just need to ask nicely. I’ve had a brief exchange of emails with the very courteous Daniel Willingham (or Dan). I decided to write after posting this about evidence based teaching. Here’s my … Continue reading

Posted in Evidence, Teaching and learning | 1 Comment

Searching for the Silver Bullet

You can test for ‘most efficient’, but ‘best’ is a value judgement. I’ve been trying to work out why I’m nervous about all the talk of teaching as an ‘evidence-led profession’. I get all the arguments about why it’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Evidence, Flexibility, Teaching and learning | 1 Comment

Doing the Data Dance

If I can’t prove it, it doesn’t exist. Uh, perhaps your test just wasn’t very good? If I can’t prove it, it isn’t useful. But intuitively, it works for me. How can you say it’s not useful if I find … Continue reading

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Making my own Mistakes

I love these words: learning, experience, complexity, uncertainty, experimentation, creativity, communication, language, children, family, love, community, connections, commonsense, intuition, emotion, engaged, sideways. These words are popular right now: certainty, knowledge, rigour, measure, progress, evidence, data, outstanding, standards, efficient. We are … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Evidence, Knowledge, Pedagogy, Risk taking, Skills, Teaching and learning | Leave a comment