Rethinking Rigor: Desirable Difficulties vs. Heavy Lifting

In his recent column "Should Teachers Know the Basic Science of How Children Learn," Daniel Willingham writes that "some statements concerning children’s learning are perfectly sound scientifically but should not influence educational decisions." Basically, educators must be very discerning when evaluating the usefulness of common educational phrases. As examples, Willingham highlights unhelpful, epistemic assumptions like "learning … Continue reading Rethinking Rigor: Desirable Difficulties vs. Heavy Lifting

Scaffolding the Curriculum Renaissance with Explicit Instruction

A previous post argued that curriculum and instruction should be considered two sides of the same coin to be improved together, not separately. This post will detail the delivery and design components of explicit instruction and how they can be used to better scaffold the curriculum renaissance. The [Controversial] Superiority of Explicit Instruction Explicit instruction … Continue reading Scaffolding the Curriculum Renaissance with Explicit Instruction

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Knowledge-Rich Curriculum and Explicit Instruction

Right now, discussion about curriculum in the U.S. is hot, and rightly so. A clear, well-sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum allows a teacher to best use their limited planning time preparing the most impactful part of teaching - lesson delivery. While a high-quality curriculum is a vital first step, implementation through effective instruction is where the rubber … Continue reading Two Sides of the Same Coin: Knowledge-Rich Curriculum and Explicit Instruction

Countering Science Denial in Education

There is a naive, Enlightenment-inspired belief that when we know better, we do better - that evidence and facts alone change minds. In this dream world, after being shown the latest research, teachers would hastily adopt best practices and refrain from using unproven and ineffective fads in the classroom. But if we look to history, … Continue reading Countering Science Denial in Education

3 Takeaways from researchED Vancouver

A favorite memory from researchED Vancouver was riding a yellow school bus to-and-from Vancouver's Lonsdale Quay pier to the Mulgrave School (conference site), casually chit-chatting with presenters Tom Bennett, Robert Pondiscio, Barbara Oakley, Barry Garelick and Eric Kalenze. It was quite incredible - teachers, researchers, and presenters, all seated together on a humble school bus … Continue reading 3 Takeaways from researchED Vancouver

On Curriculum: How Pinterest and TpT Exacerbate Inequity

The Importance of Content Knowledge and Curriculum The daily instructional choices of teachers are increasingly being embraced as key levers for reducing educational disparities in schools. Using the Glossary of Education Reform definition, a curriculum should be understood broadly as: the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn mandated learning standards or learning objectives the … Continue reading On Curriculum: How Pinterest and TpT Exacerbate Inequity