In preparation for a new school year, I was encouraged by a podcast discussion between James Mannion and professor Guy Claxton. It is clear we are riding the wave of educational reform so now is as good a time as ever to rethink our pedagogical approach. We need to fully understand that 'how' and 'what' we teach has a significant impact on our students. Do we inadvertently foster an addiction for right answers, and a paralysing fear of making mistakes? Or, do we teach the skills required to 'learn how to learn'? How do you know what the main effects AND side effects of your teaching are? For example, if supporting reluctant readers, does our selection of texts and pedagogical approach have the main effect of improved results? Is the side effect of the intervention a love of reading? Is the main effect of drill in practice in Mathematics improved results? Is the side effect a love of number concepts? Before we answer, we should have data to back it up.
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