5 Meanings of Student-Centered Instruction

There's an interesting essay called "Five Meanings of Direct Instruction" where the author (Rosenshine, 2008) shows how even a term as commonly used as direct instruction can take on different meanings depending on who you talk to. Some people use it in the pejorative to refer to non-stop passive lecturing, while those familiar with the … Continue reading 5 Meanings of Student-Centered Instruction

A Weird but Popular Way to Teach Problem Solving

There seems to be two main, but very different, approaches to teaching problem solving: Begin by teaching students how to solve a particular type of problem, and then have students solve a set of similar problemsBegin by giving students a set of problems to solve, and then respond to individual students' needs through brief one-on-one … Continue reading A Weird but Popular Way to Teach Problem Solving

Demystifying Learning through Examples

Using examples skillfully and appropriately to illustrate complex ideas and procedures is integral to great teaching, no matter what discipline we're talking about. In math, examples help to demystify the steps that mathematicians take to solve problems. In foreign language class, examples help to bring permanence to sentence constructions that are slippery and transient if … Continue reading Demystifying Learning through Examples

Does More Learning Happen When Students are in the Driver’s Seat?

Most teachers will be familiar with Khan Academy, or similar learning programs, that offer a mixture of 1) problems to solve and 2) instructional supports that students can use to learn how to solve the problems. Common instructional supports in online learning environments include partial hints (e.g., click here for a hint to get you … Continue reading Does More Learning Happen When Students are in the Driver’s Seat?

Shifting to Online (again)? Check out this Poster

I am happy my community is back on campus; a beautiful learning space where teachers utilize their physical presence to guide attention and support students towards new understandings. I also realize, having been fooled too may times by COVID, that it’s possible that we’ll be forced to shift once again into a hybrid model (and … Continue reading Shifting to Online (again)? Check out this Poster

Is there a “Science of Learning” and what is in it?

A reoccurring theme (e.g., here, here, and here) of this blog is that we can improve education by leveraging findings from the science of learning. Most people in the field seem to agree with this statement, but it's not uncommon to find people who are convinced that there is no science of learning. The reasons … Continue reading Is there a “Science of Learning” and what is in it?

A Fence at the Top or an Ambulance at the Bottom?

As a school leader, I'm often asked to read things that contain strong claims about the nature of learning. My old approach was to try to weigh the arguments presented in the articles and come to my own conclusions about whether the claims seemed reasonable, regardless of whether the authors had any evidence to support … Continue reading A Fence at the Top or an Ambulance at the Bottom?

Where are our “Leaders with Substance”?

Thanks to John Catt Educational, I've had the chance to read and review some great education books. My last John Catt review was on Walkthrus I and II and this post will contain some of my thoughts on the excellent book "Leaders with Substance" by Matthew Evans. One of the best leaders I've ever met … Continue reading Where are our “Leaders with Substance”?

Do We Learn Best Collaboratively or Individually?

I read an interesting article about collaboration and worked examples today. Worked examples, for those not in the know, are teaching objects that explicitly show students the steps for how to solve a particular type of problem, such as the one below for how to add fractions: Example of a worked example, shared with me … Continue reading Do We Learn Best Collaboratively or Individually?