Are they really learning, or have you (accidentally) planned for a 1000 inequalities?

The Quirky Teacher

WARNING: the content in this blog post is probably going to irk you (a bit).

This little piece of edu-thought is what happens when you read something like this and then are given the amazing opportunity to implement a direct instruction program of mathematics across most year groups in a primary school. I crudely crunched some year 5 PUMA data on Friday, during a pupil progress meeting, and even though I knew of the evidence base for direct instruction, I was truly shocked to see the increase in average standardised score across the cohort – from around 95 to over 100 in just a TERM. This is in a school situated in one of the most deprived estates in the country. The visual of all those reds and orange cells turning into green – massive, massive thanks to the hard working teachers, utter professionals who bought in to the vision…

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Imagine a world where reports were truthful

The Quirky Teacher

How many of you are teaching in an exam year group and feel under enormous pressure right now?

I don’t know all of your stories, but I’m often contacted by those on twitter who are trying their best, often in difficult circumstances, and yet still aren’t making their targets. Wouldn’t it be great if it wasn’t all on us?

I think that the transfer of almost total responsibility for attainment to class teachers and SLT such that they’re all of a fluster could be avoided if we used a bit of honest sharing of information with parents, really opened their eyes and galvinised them into action. How? Well, I’m drawn to yearly national testing, computerised assessments as is used in other countries, but the difference would be that what is reported to parents is just the percentage and associated grade (grades that parents understand and have a frame of reference…

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How to avoid pointless debates on Twitter

Filling the pail

I have been on Twitter since 2012. In the early years, I felt it was my duty to try to engage with anyone who wanted a discussion. I thought that this would help me to form a more balanced perspective. To be fair, sometimes it did and sometimes it still does. This is when disagreement reaches the higher levels of Graham’s hierarchy of disagreement, when those involved in the discussion are genuinely trying to figure something out. As Graham suggests, “You don’t have to be mean when you have a real point to make. In fact, you don’t want to. If you have something real to say, being mean just gets in the way.”

Unfortunately, too many people are mean. If anyone insults you, I suggest blocking them. I didn’t block anyone in my first few years, but if someone calls me a name then they are now gone…

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Schools Like Yours: extra KS2 and KS4 data added, plus a new version for special schools – Education Datalab blog

Announcing an update to Schools Like Yours with new data for mainstream schools and the launch of a version for special schools

Continued here:

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How reliable are Key Stage 2 tests? – Education Datalab blog

Looking at the reliability of the KS2 tests and the difficulty of individual questions.

Continued here:

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Test anxiety and performance in high-stakes testing (Best Evidence in Brief)

From experience to meaning...

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief with among others, this study

A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology suggests that the relationship between test anxiety and performance in high-stakes tests is positive, but the relationship varies for students with different achievement levels.

Yao-Ting Sung and colleagues at the National Taiwan University used data from 1,931 Taiwanese ninth graders from 37 schools. The Basic Competence Test (BCTEST) was used to benchmark their achievement. The BCTEST is a high-stakes test for Taiwan junior-high school students, determining to which high schools with different levels of prestige and tuition fees they will be admitted. Subjects in the test included Mandarin, English, Mathematics, Social studies, Science and Writing. Test anxiety was measured by the examination stress scale.
Findings include:

  • The overall relationship between text-anxiety and learning achievement in high-stakes testing was positive (r =+0.18).
  • Lower levels of test-anxiety were found among high-achievement and…

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While writing our new book…

From experience to meaning...

I’ve waited some time to write this post, hopefully long enough so people won’t be recognized or even worse recognize themselves.

Last week our new book about myths about learning and education was released in Dutch. During the writing process I met some people that showed me why we need to keep up with what Paul, Casper and I are doing.

Take for example the MBTI-trainer I met who acknowledged she knew the theory and tool was utterly nonsense, but explained she kept spreading the word because the CEO’s loved it. Even wore, they would hate the proven model of the Big Five because no leader would want to be called a narcissist. She also stated that any change or reflection she could achieve, was a good thing. But keep up the good work, she said with a smile.

Or what about the professor who wrote a book about…

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