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Latest from the Blog

School Development – Don’t Upset the Ecosystem

I’m not a fan of education metaphors but in the spirit of true hypocrisy, here goes. In an ecosystem, there are some species that act a keystone. Their role is like a keystone in an arch – if you remove the keystone, the entire arch collapses. A famous example is the elimination of the Gray…

5 Ways to Make Tasks More Challenging

Making tasks challenging is incredibly difficult. A lot of the time, we simply don’t know how well learners will understand our instruction when they have such varying levels of prior knowledge.  We face a variety of issues in implementing challenge:- How quickly some students disengage- Anticipating failure and reducing the level of challenge- Seeing learners…

Starter tasks – are we using them badly?

We know that the brain actively seeks to tie new information to what it already knows (i.e. schemas, activation theory etc) and the role prior knowledge plays in this. Therefore, the intention of an introductory task or ‘starter’ *should* be to elicit prior knowledge.  This intention may have been lost along the way as the…

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