Filling The Pail

Greg Ashman
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." – As W. B. Yeats never said
Created 22 Nov 2020
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  • Beyond the culture war lies a bold set of proposals
    24 Oct 2021 • 5 min read • 3 2
    Alan Tudge, a conservative Australian education minister, has started a culture war over the history curriculum. This distracts from his other proposals - proposals that some teachers may even support...
  • The limits of science
    16 Oct 2021 • 5 min read • 11 12
    From time-to-time, I stand accused of ‘scientism’. This accusation comes from those who argue that the kinds of quantitative studies I draw upon as evidence for and against competing approaches are in...
  • Explicit teaching and teacher training
    13 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 9 9
    Recently, I have been posting about cognitive load theory. This has been an interesting series of posts and I intend to return to some of the reactions at a later date. Cognitive load theory supports ...
  • Cognitive load theory's flaws?
    07 Oct 2021 • 7 min read • 6 3
    In my last post, I responded to a rather blunt attack on cognitive load theory. It is unfortunate that the most prominent criticisms of cognitive load theory are so poorly argued because a good theory...
  • Is cognitive load theory just like brain gym?
    02 Oct 2021 • 8 min read • 9 7
    I have come to the view that attacks on cognitive load theory tend to have the perverse effect of increasing the popularity of the theory. This must mean that people do not find these attacks convinci...
  • How do you solve a problem like Hans Freudenthal?
    30 Sep 2021 • 2 min read • 5 3
    Marty over at Bad Mathematics has posted about a meeting between ACARA, the body responsible for reviewing the Australian curriculum, and AMSI, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. Basicall...
  • Does progressive education exist?
    27 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 8 1
    Professor Yong Zhao is an influential educationalist with one foot in the U.S. and the other in Melbourne, Australia. For a while, he has been formulating a theory of side-effects in education. This t...
  • The knowledge-rich curriculum fad
    24 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 7 4
    We all know education has its fads. The worst one I ever endured was Building Learning Power. At the end of each lesson, and ideally throughout, we were required to discuss which ‘learning muscles’ st...
  • The school that experimented with diversity training
    22 Sep 2021 • 7 min read • 6 5
    Last night, Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, aired episode one of The School That Tried to End Racism. This follows the format of a UK documentary of the same name that aired last year. Both...
  • Has a six-year-old mystery been solved?
    18 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 1 1
    Last month, I published a post suggesting that the Teaching and Learning Toolkit curated by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK was a complete mess. At the time, I was unaware that it w...
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