More choice is good, right? We’d all rather have more items in the Taco Bell menu than fewer. People prefer to be, or at least feel like they are, in control of their destiny (just ask the anti-maskers of the pandemic!) and it seems likely that our students are no different. Theoretically, when students perceive … Continue reading When Student Choice Backfires
Time and time again I find myself coming back to an essay called "'How Obvious”: Personal Reflections on the Database of Educational Psychology and Effective Teaching Research" by Gregory Yates (2005). It is a rich piece of work that covers topics ranging from the process-product research of the 70's and 80's to the failure of … Continue reading Presenting Workshops that are Worth Attending
One little-known aspect of international teaching is that very few expat teachers end up learning the local language in the countries where they teach. This may vary by language, of course; I've heard that far more international teachers pick up Spanish than Kazakh, for example; but by and large it seems that most international teachers, … Continue reading Why I Memorize
When I was 16, I attended high school in the French city of Rennes. Like many foreign exchange students before me, I was assigned the same classes as local French students - literature, math and science classes - all, of course, entirely taught in French. Despite my (and my parents') hopes that I would quickly … Continue reading Immersion Learning Fails Students In More Ways Than One
A lot of people have told to me at my workshops that they wish to start reading research but they don't know where to start. I usually respond by recommending popular books, such as How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice and How We Learn: Why Brains Learn … Continue reading 5 Steps to Becoming a Reader of Research
This week I tweeted a thread that started with this learning pyramid: https://twitter.com/MrZachG/status/1262938445158117376?s=20 For anyone who didn't know already, everything about the Learning Pyramid is fake (Letrud & Hernes, 2018). There have been numerous iterations of it passed around at education conferences and, yes, Twitter too, for more than 160 years! Do a Google image … Continue reading A Learning Pyramid Profession
How does your school solve problems, make changes, or figure out what works best? In my previous post I wrote about how important it is for schools to get used to the idea of conducting controlled experiments to generate new knowledge for how make decisions and solve problems. In this post, I am going to … Continue reading How Rapid Prototyping in Schools can Fail.
Educators are problem-solvers in a profession riddled with instructional and non-instructional problems. In any one school, countless problems need to be solved concurrently; Maybe one grade level needs help with improving students' decoding skills, while the specialist teachers are curious how adjusting class periods would affect learning, while at the same time, despite heavy investment … Continue reading From Meetings to Prototypes: The Importance of Being Experimental
I have a 9-month-old daughter who still cannot crawl. I've tried having her build up her strength through various leg and abdominal exercises. I've shown her interactive diagrams and YouTube videos of babies crawling, and I've read her the definition of crawling from the dictionary. I've modeled the correct way to crawl so many times … Continue reading Help! I’m Trying to Teach My 9-Month-Old How to Crawl and it isn’t Working.
I'm looking forward to 12:50 this Wednesday, the time that is usually reserved for teachers and students to eat lunch. Usually my lunch routine is to sign out, walk across the street (carefully), and choose between ma la tang or ma la xiang guo from one of the stalls that cater to mostly Chinese college … Continue reading Every School Needs a Research Group