- Can you win at anything if you practise hard enough? - BBC News 'If you had enough practice, advice and expert training, could you become a success at anything? How much is achievement based on natural ability and how much hard work? For instance, could an "unco-ordinated computer geek" become a table-tennis star in one year? In an international experiment, a table-tennis coach gave an "unsporty" adult an hour's coaching every day for a year in a bid to make him one of the top table tennis players in Britain.' Related post here.
- 9-Year-Old Girl Epically Destroys The Case For Standardized Testing (Video) OK, perhaps only in the US, but we may watch re-runs in the run-up to the 2040 presidential race and say, “This is where it all started..”
- State of the Nation: impact of education reforms will take decades to play out [theconversation.com] 'David Bell, former chief inspector of schools and permanent secretary at the Department for Education, looks at the legacy of the coalition’s school and university reforms.'
- Will at Work Learning: People remember 10%, 20%...Oh Really? 'People do NOT remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, etc. That information, and similar pronouncements are fraudulent. Moreover, general statements on the effectiveness of learning methods are not credible---learning results depend on too many variables to enable such precision. Unfortunately, this bogus information has been floating around our field for decades, crafted by many different authors and presented in many different configurations, including bastardizations of Dale's Cone.' My own take is here.
- Does engagement actually matter? | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'I’m not saying engagement and motivation don’t matter at all – clearly they are important in all sorts of contexts – but the idea that there is any kind of direct link to achievement appears to be dubious. If you want to engage students because you want them to be more engaged, fine. But if you believe that engagement will automatically lead to better results you may well be mistaken.'
- Make 'em laugh: the humorous path to academic success [theconversation.com] 'Maybe academics themselves need to take a serious look at what frustrates them and what (perhaps simultaneously) makes them laugh. The best jokes always contain important insights, and that is as true in academia as anywhere. Humour broadens the audience for scientific research, and can show how science is relevant to our world. It also reminds scientists and their audience how fun science can be. An academic joke could start the journey towards tenure or a Nobel Prize. Or, if not, at least one can enjoy levitating frogs.'
- Product or Process? Teachers or Learners? | aplinglink Discussion of alternative models in the context of English Language Teaching.
- Adult education needs an urgent and radical rethink [theconversation.com] 'Somewhat apologetically, business secretary Vince Cable has started a consultation for employers and further education providers to review the country’s vocational education system. Such rethinking will not be enough to save adult education. What is needed is a re-imagining of adult education, before it is too late. A narrow, though important concentration on skills and economic improvement represents a short-sighted vision, as adult education is much more than that.'
- (In case you hadn't noticed) An Exciting Election Beckons in the U.K. [newyorker.com] This is a perspective from across the pond.