Thinking Harder: Why Research Matters

Summer Turner

There is a big argument about whether teaching is an art or a science, and much of the criticism of research or evidence in education is that it is reductive because teaching is an art, a performance, a study of relationships. However this argument leads us into difficulty as we begin to mistake experience for expertise and personality for success (in much the way we often mistake pupils’ performance for learning). The truth is we don’t just argue that teaching is an art, we start to argue that it is a talent and we begin to use words which suggest there is some kind of magic to teaching which is intangible.

So you’re a new teacher, struggling with your class and the advice you are given is: “go and watch so and so, they’re an amazing teacher”. Along you trundle and there this teacher is “being amazing” but all…

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