Category: Skills and knowledge

Teaching content-rich lessons

I recently read this in a blog post by Doug Lemov. One of the challenges of Hirsch or Christodoulou if you’re a teacher is that many of the requisite actions–a curriculum that prizes and emphasizes knowledge development in a systematic way, are beyond the purview of the individual teacher. Those tend to be school- or… Read more »

Read more

BBC Radio 4 Programme on E.D. Hirsch

On Monday evening BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting this documentary on E.D. Hirsch and Core Knowledge. It will feature an interview with Hirsch himself, as well as with Nick Gibb, Sir Michael Barber and Andrew Pollard. As you can see from the blurb they also interviewed me and one of my colleagues for the programme, and recorded… Read more »

Read more

E.D. Hirsch is no right-winger

On Tuesday, the Guardian published an article about E.D. Hirsch and his Core Knowledge Curriculum. The article stated that after Hirsch published his work on the importance of knowledge in the curriculum, he ‘was greeted by the American right as a prophet and a saviour, and by the left as a scion of the empire… Read more »

Read more

Battle of Ideas – In Defence of Subjects

Last night I spoke at the Battle of Ideas on the Defence of Subjects. I spoke in favour of subjects, and my main points were as follows. Subjects work. They are the most efficient and effective way of ensuring pupils learn. All the best education systems in the world use subjects, and generally what we… Read more »

Read more

Battle of Ideas

On Thursday night I am speaking at the Battle of Ideas on the topic In Defence of Subjects. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I will of course be defending subjects. I am planning to speak about my experiences of teaching subjects and their alternatives, and the pragmatic… Read more »

Read more

Memory cannot be outsourced

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post arguing that the ‘traditional’ understanding of a hierarchical, teacher-centric classroom has not existed in English schools since at least the 1960s. In the comments thread, I am trying to list examples of people claiming that this model of teaching still does exist (normally in the context… Read more »

Read more

The new traditionalists

In last week’s TES, on the contents page there was a little ad for an article in the next edition. It said: A glimpse of the future – Some academies and free schools are abandoning the traditional model of the teacher as the font of all knowledge.  Instead they act as a ‘facilitator’ of the… Read more »

Read more

Shirley Valentine has the answers

Shirley Valentine is one of my favourite films. I watched it a lot with my parents when I was younger; I think they liked it because it made relationships between English women and Greek men temporarily fashionable. A scene from Shirley Valentine occurred to me when I was writing this post about 21st century skills.… Read more »

Read more

Why 21st century skills are not that 21st century

Whenever I hear anyone talk about preparing students for the 21st century, I am always sceptical. Partly this is because it is never made clear exactly what is so different about the 21st century that requires such different preparation. For the American organisation Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), which is sponsored by a number… Read more »

Read more

Why you can’t just Google it

In my post here, I talked about the pervasive modern idea that Google renders memory irrelevant, and explained why this idea is false. I want to return to this point here with some further explanations. The best explanation of why you can’t ‘Just Google It’ is by E.D. Hirsch here. Essentially, his point is that:… Read more »

Read more