Concerning teacher impartiality: Why the ‘Opinion’ vs ‘Fact’ distinction is not that useful

I teach in Spain, and Spain is currently in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Being ‘impartial’ is tricky in the calmest of times, but in tumultuous times like these it’s a minefield. This is especially so for those of us who teach subjects that are sodden with passion and blood of freedoms lost and… Continue reading Concerning teacher impartiality: Why the ‘Opinion’ vs ‘Fact’ distinction is not that useful

Advertisements

The Great Debate: Educational Fideism

(This is a rewrite of the earlier post on Educational Fideism) Caminante, no hay camino, Se hace camino al andar Wanderer, there is no path, The path is made by walking. (Antonio Machado, from ‘Proverbios y Cantares’ in Campos de Castilla, 1912) Ah the great education debate: the trads, the progs, the prags. As if… Continue reading The Great Debate: Educational Fideism

A draft manifesto for educational fideism: the spirit of social justice

NB: this is currently just a very rough draft. Feedback of all sorts gratefully received! In a recent discussion on twitter, it occurred to me, that in one fundamental respect, my ideas about what education is, is for and about, differ from both those of the traditionalists and the progressivists (and indeed a third category… Continue reading A draft manifesto for educational fideism: the spirit of social justice

Response to David Didau’s post ‘What causes behaviour’

Unfortunately, I think that David Didau's last post contained a number of grave confusions. DD conflates the ‘nature vs nurture’ argument with the ‘free will vs determinism’ argument. The ‘nature vs nurture’ argument assumes the principle of sufficient reason – i.e. that everything has a cause/explanation. The question is whether nature or nurture is more… Continue reading Response to David Didau’s post ‘What causes behaviour’

A rough outline of how I teach Philosophy and Ethics

I could write for years about how I teach Philosophy and Ethics – I absolutely love it. Here I’ve just tried to cover the main ideas, so I’ve provided some background, the foundation series of lessons, the normal lesson structure, the essay structure, and a general overview of the curriculum. 1. Background I am fortunate… Continue reading A rough outline of how I teach Philosophy and Ethics

A dialogue concerning the following proposition: ‘All of our actions are based upon beliefs’ (in the context of ideology and education)

(Person A) Why do we feel tempted to say that 'all of our actions are based upon beliefs?' (Person B) Because we cannot be certain about anything? If we cannot be certain about anything, then presumably we must simply believe certain propositions to be true. But it only makes sense to talk about certainty when… Continue reading A dialogue concerning the following proposition: ‘All of our actions are based upon beliefs’ (in the context of ideology and education)

Concerning debates (especially on Edutwitter): Brute facts and ideology

1. To begin with, I would like to start with what might seem like a rather odd, but I would argue useful, definition of certainty. This will provide us with something of a foundation on which to build. I will define certainty as inconceivability of the opposite, as incredulity. Imagine that someone told you that… Continue reading Concerning debates (especially on Edutwitter): Brute facts and ideology

A nomological conception of knowledge

It could be unsettling for a teacher to be unsure of the nature of knowledge, yet questions relating to the concept appear frequently on Twitter. Here, using David Didau’s proposition: ‘Knowledge is what we think with and about’ as my starting point, I hope to provide some clarity on the issues and put forward a conception… Continue reading A nomological conception of knowledge

Some remarks on measurements and judgements in schools

The following are just notes... There are various purposes of measuring things in schools, but often, it comes down to holding people accountable- the teachers, the students. Another way of looking at it is to try to get people to be better, to improve, this presupposes that one knows what ‘improvement’ looks like. If we… Continue reading Some remarks on measurements and judgements in schools

ResearchED Rugby 2017: Value, Character, and Virtue in Education

In this post, I briefly discuss what we mean when we are talking about values, and virtues. I then suggest an alternative conception. During her keynote speech at ResearchED Rugby, Nicky Morgan argued for what she perceived to be the importance of ‘character education’, the teaching of values, or character to the students. My first… Continue reading ResearchED Rugby 2017: Value, Character, and Virtue in Education