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The problems with 'discovery learning' - brilliant pieces!
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: The problems with 'discovery learning' - brilliant pieces! Reply with quote

A PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE:



From the heart, based on experience and wider reading - and packed with recognisable rational argument by Heather F:


Why I became radicalised or the problems with discovery learning


http://heatherfblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/why-i-became-radicalised-or-the-problems-with-discovery-learning/comment-page-1/#comment-10
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Debbie Hepplewhite


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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A TEACHER'S PERSPECTIVE:


Another fabulous piece about the myth and reality of 'discovery learning' by Tessa Matthews via her blog:

What is the impact of discovery learning?

http://tabularasaeducation.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/discovery/comment-page-1/#comment-754
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discovery learning in Canada:


Does discovery learning prepare Alberta students for the 21st century or will it toss out a top tier education system?



http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/28/does-discovery-learning-prepare-alberta-students-for-the-21st-century-or-will-it-toss-out-a-top-tier-education-system/
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another brilliant piece that expresses so well what many teachers and parents sort of think but might not articulate:

Why I became radicalised - the sequel - frying pan to fire


http://heatherfblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/why-i-became-radicalised-the-sequel-frying-pan-to-fire/
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These recent blog postings about Reception and Infant provision (above) brought Alistair Clegg's ABCdoes blog to mind.

Alistair invited me to write a guest posting on the subject of phonics and reading some time ago - note the different perspectives and understanding reflected by the readers' comments:


http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/2011/08/the-teaching-of-reading-and-phonics-debbie-hepplewhite.html
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was my advice for the great people at the MyBaba organisation regarding early reading experiences and teaching - "don't leave it to chance":

Chatter, Books and Phonics


http://www.mybaba.com/chatter-books-and-phonics-by-debbie-hepplewhite/
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free paper from Civitas by Toby Young:


Quote:
Prisoners of The Blob:
Why most education experts are wrong about nearly everything


By Toby Young

April 2014




http://www.civitas.org.uk/education/POTB.php
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katie Ashford's new blog and her posting on:

Should we be afraid of teacher-talk


http://www.edapt.org.uk/news/2014/03/blog-katie-ashford-should-we-be-afraid-of-teacher-talk#.UzlVyBbBG5S

It is commonly known that Ofsted reports not infrequently refer to 'too much teacher-talk' - thus the debate proliferates as to the merits or otherwise of 'teacher-talk' and to whether this comment from Ofsted has made teachers afraid to stand infront of their classes and 'talk' for anything more than a minute or two.

My suggestion is to consider the 'fit-for-purpose-ness' of any teacher-talk -and its quality.

One teacher's 'teacher-talk' is not necessarily comparable with another teacher's!
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another outstanding posting by heatherf:

Sir Michael: Champion of the disadvantaged or child-catcher?


http://heatherfblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/sir-michael-champion-of-the-disadvantaged-or-child-catcher/comment-page-1/#comment-63

Quote:
What is this content and what are these adult directed activities? The actual Ofsted materials refer to those 10 goals, language development activities, counting games, learning nursery rhymes and other standard nursery stuff. So, despite the off-putting rhetoric about children being made ‘school ready’, the content agenda is hardly controversial to the public at large. Neither are activities such as counting or language games.

It could be that Wilshaw’s stated goals are the thin end of the wedge, although I’m not sure why you would threaten non-compliance over that. However, the battle lines are not where some might like to suggest. Rhetoric about stealing childhood and school for two year olds will provoke condemnation from all sides but would the public at large really think that a play based approach with some adult directed activities, such as counting and language games, is catastrophic for a toddler’s well-being?

My own view must be pretty clear. I am uncomfortable with some of the implications about the role of schools in place of parents and I really didn’t like some of the bureaucratic target and assessment driven ‘best practice’ outlined in the Ofsted report (although anyway it is part of the current EYFS). I think what bothered me most were objections to Sir Michael’s goals that then suggested that a better solution to underachievement is to solve the root cause –poverty. Make of that what you will but I find that sentiment concerning. I am with the much derided Liz Truss on this one when she says:

One of the organisations [which objects] calls itself the ‘Save Childhood Movement’… for the most vulnerable children the result of this group’s misguided, regressive, inaccurate superstitious and dangerous idea wouldn’t save childhood. It would only crush their future.’

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loisa Moats's blog posting on proposals for pre-school education (and other postings on reading and spelling):


http://louisamoats.wordpress.com
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first part of 'Why I teach my children...' by heatherf again:


http://heatherfblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/why-i-teach-my-children-part-1-why-not/
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Robinson via TES asking the question as to whether there is a best of both worlds - progressive and traditional - to underpin educational systems:


http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6426567#.U2Pbt84LaU0.twitter

Quote:
Tradition need not be the enemy of progress

news | Published in TES magazine on 2 May, 2014 | By: Martin Robinson

The tension between teaching respect for the past and nurturing independent thinking should be recognised – and embraced

What is the point of education? Is it to pass on the traditions and knowledge that have stood the test of time, with a respect for institutions and authority, and to get children to follow well-worn paths? Or is it to free individuals, encouraging children to think for themselves, to challenge and question the status quo, and to create paths of their own?

In England, for example, the current “progressive” national curriculum states that schools should create “confident individuals” who can “learn independently” and have “enquiring minds”. The more “traditional” curriculum that will replace it this year states that teachers should introduce students to the “best that has been thought and said” through study of the “essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens”.

Education is political and our opinion of the sort of society we want for our children inevitably affects how we want them to be educated. So it was a surprise to read in a recent interview that England’s education secretary, Michael Gove, believes the purpose of education is to allow people “to be the authors of their own life story”.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A revealing, worrying and thought-provoking post via Andrew Old's excellent 'Scenes of The Battleground' blog courtesy of an anonymous poster who flags up an anti-Gove, anti-knowledge training event for governors:

Quote:
Well, teachers, you can’t have all the fun to yourselves. We school governors have to undergo training too, you know, especially so that we know what ‘critically friendly’ questions to ask you once a term. My latest experience was a local authority-run, two-hour evening session outlining the new national primary curriculum. There was a lot to pack in, so it was a fairly intense, PowerPoint-heavy evening.


http://teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/a-school-governor-writes/

Quote:
Let me just say up-front that the trainer was a very nice chap. In fact I spent over an hour after the training very pleasantly discussing with him some of what had been said, and it was exactly the sort of intelligent, amiable, open conversation one always hopes to have, but is all too rare.

However, it would also be fair to characterise much of the training session as very negative and derisory about much of the new curriculum, and we were very much told what we should think about it; its proponent(s), and what ought to be the objectives of education in general.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a very interesting debate via Harry Webb's 'Web of Substance' blog for those people who are into deep philosophical issues regarding education:



https://websofsubstance.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/pseuds/comment-page-1/#comment-4780

The discussion including links to various pieces is very long and detailed - and it is possible that even interested people may not get to the end of it.

Anyway, I added my two-pennyworth as I think it is important to consider that people such as myself just want all children effectively taught to read, spell and write well - and that will raise their likelihood of a better view of education, and access to education, moving forwards for them. It does not have to be complicated or philosophy-based.

So I added this:

Quote:
Thank you for this very interesting discussion – I am posting it on my Phonics International website.

Most busy teachers are probably not even interested in (or may not even be aware of) the issues and philosophies and their associated practices, reputations and results raised in this discussion.

There are clearly widely differing perspectives in what ‘should’ be provided in schools according to different philosophies and studies and contexts – but to be accessible and supportive of teachers and learners, I suggest the way forwards is to simplify the views into something practical in the classroom.

Harry (in my opinion, rightly) brings the topic back to the teaching of reading – specifically through the findings of Project Follow-through.

This is key to education. No matter what the inequalities, advantages, cultural differences or philosophies of education of the various contexts in any country, if children cannot read, or read well, and don’t have access to a broad range of language and literature, then they are not well-served.

Here in England, the Government officially promotes systematic synthetic phonics based on a wealth of international research findings and classroom findings.

A statutory Year 1 phonics screening check has certainly sharpened teachers’ minds about their teaching effectiveness and their results for three years running have increased year-on-year. The national results are very important for a number of reasons. This suggests that far more children are able to lift the words off the pages of the very literature that can help to inform and inspire them – rather than leaving them in a world of failure as they see children in their classes who can read where they cannot. We aim for ALL children to be able to read – and not just the privileged few who are immersed in rich language and literature in their home environment.

The quality of any schooling ultimately depends on effective teaching and learning and mutually respectful and caring relationships between teachers and learners – and variety across schools during the days/weeks/months/years which adds spice (enrichment) and inspiration to life.

This doesn’t have to be a complicated formula.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Webb again via his 'Web of Substance' blog expressing his views about:

Fiona Millar's Fallacies

Quote:
The first is a belief that “market forces” can ensure every school will be good and give parents choice

I am sure that some people really do believe this. I suspect that Michael Gove probably does. I don’t. But perhaps we’re not talking about people like me. For what it’s worth, my view – which I think is shared by quite a few people – is that it would be a really great idea to fix the state schools that we already have.


http://websofsubstance.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/fiona-millars-fallacies/

Quote:
If we could ensure that state schools rigorously taught children stuff then this would be a welcome turn of events. However, I am skeptical about the ability of the current state education systems in the UK, US and Australia to do this. There is too much ideology that gets in the way. For instance, there is the repeated and significant failure to ensure that systematic synthetic phonics is used for the teaching of reading, despite overwhelming empirical evidence. Charter schools, free schools, academies and the rest present some small opportunity to provide a proof of principle. If some of these institutions – freed from ideologues – are able to educate kids from deprived backgrounds to a level that we have been told is impossible then this makes the case stronger for adoption of such methods in regular state schools. That has to be the bigger prize.

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