Can Students Really Self-Differentiate?

Take a look at the screenshot below. It shows a learning activity containing a menu with two choices: Clicking the right button leads to a problem that the student must solve, and clicking the left button leads to an example that shows them how to solve that sort of problem. This activity is one way … Continue reading Can Students Really Self-Differentiate?

Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

Like so many buzzwords in education, it's hard to pin down what people mean by the term "Productive Struggle". Of the two meanings of Productive Struggle I've heard being used most often, the good meaning is uncontroversial, and the bad - and more popular - meaning encourages teachers to abandon principles of effective instruction. The … Continue reading Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

From Door to Do Now

It’s perhaps surprising how a lesson’s success greatly depends on the moments that precede the actual lesson: The etiquette in the hallways, the way students line up at the door and enter, and the design of the task they're meant to do when they take their seats. When I coach teachers who struggle with classroom … Continue reading From Door to Do Now

Hyper-Individualized Teaching

Everyone has their ideas about what will fix education. One way to categorize these ideas is through the dichotomy of progressivism and traditionalism. Progressive approaches emphasize setting the conditions to allow students to find their own way to subjects, and traditional approaches emphasize the importance of an expert bringing subjects that are of value for … Continue reading Hyper-Individualized Teaching

Episode 10: Special Edition

In this episode, Zach flies to the Midwest to meet up with Brad to tape a road trip edition of Progressively Incorrect. Along the way, the duo stop at the highest point of Ohio, the first paved road in the USA, and find (some) common ground in their debate over progressive versus traditional ideas in education.

The Private School Penalty

For the past 9 years, I've worked in private independent and international schools, and before that, I trained and worked in public schools. As I've written before, the challenges that teachers experience in each of these contexts are vastly different. A pedagogy consisting largely of unstructured tasks with ill-defined goals, coupled with a laissez-faire approach … Continue reading The Private School Penalty

Episode 9: On Students’ (Mis)judgments of Learning and Teaching Effectiveness by Carpenter et al.

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss "On Students’ (Mis)judgments of Learning and Teaching Effectiveness" by Shana Carpenter and colleagues. While it may be popular to collect student opinion on instructional matters, there is often a conflict between what students think is effective and what is actually effective. We discuss many of the ways that student opinion can have negative or positive effects on the quality of students' education.

Instructional Videos: Perfect for Learning Styles, Popular with Students, and THE FUTURE of Education!

Last week I attended a government-sponsored training on instructional video that began with three weird reasons for why teachers should use more instructional video: Instructional videos cater to students' learning stylesInstructional videos are more popular with students (i.e., they like them) than alternative methodsInstructional videos are the future of learning I'm sure fans of this … Continue reading Instructional Videos: Perfect for Learning Styles, Popular with Students, and THE FUTURE of Education!

Episode 8: The Dynamic Tension at the Core of the Grammar of Schooling by David F. Labaree

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss "The Dynamic Tension at the Core of the Grammar of Schooling" by David F. Labaree (@DLabaree). The discussion has us both acknowledging that organizational needs - i.e., what is doable - often prevent large-scale changes to the "grammar of schooling", such as age-graded classrooms, teacher-centered instruction, and a decentralized curriculum.


My last blog post seems to have been this site’s 200th post. What a journey it’s been. Long time readers may have noticed that Stephanie (my wife) used to contribute about half of the posts on Lately she’s been too busy being one of the best literacy specialists in the country to be messing … Continue reading Cringe!