That minimal guidance paper

Filling the pail

I began reading about education research when I started at my current school. Before this, I had been a deputy headteacher at a high school in London where my contact with research had been quite limited. At that time, we had the government national strategies that included a set of training materials known as ‘Pedagogy and Practice’. I thought these contained quality research evidence but given that one of them, later withdrawn, was on Learning Styles, this was probably wrong.

So, encouraged by my new school’s research focus, in 2010 I picked up a copy of John Hattie’s ‘Visible Learning’. I found this fascinating and had not yet read enough to be critical of the kind of meta-analysis that this book involved.

I was stunned to find Hattie write in positive terms about ‘direct instruction’. This sounded like the kind of teaching I often used but felt guilty about. Everyone…

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