7 tools for thinking about education

Filling the pail


I would like to offer some tools that teachers, parents, journalists and others involved in education might find useful. In particular, these tools are intended to help you evaluate the kinds of claims made by presenters at conferences or in newspapers and on blogs.

1. What evidence would prove this claim wrong?

Imagine that a speaker takes to the stage and claims that a proprietary thinking routine- let’s call it ‘four hops and a ladder’ – leads to ‘deeper’ learning.The presenter shows evidence that includes lots of bar charts and demonstrates that teachers who were trained in this technique used it more often and that teachers and students alike felt motivated by it. You raise your hand to ask a question. You are aware of a study that showed no academic gains for students who used this routine versus those who did not. Ah, the presenter explain, that’s because the…

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