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Episode 163: Who you gonna call?

thinsidelearning of course, as we root out some more zombie ideas (although horror fans might not forgive us for mixing up ghosts and zombies, but we can’t take either them or ourselves too seriously).

A couple of quick news items to ‘kick off’ with:  ‘Ofsted warns secondary school progress ‘stalled'” Link here  “Primary 1-3 class sizes in Scotland rise for fourth year in a row” Link here

Although we have taken a stick to some ideas, especially those based in so-called ‘brain-based’ learning, we do want to point out that there could be positive links to be made between neuroscience and pedagogy.  The Wellcome Trust are building some interesting bridges between scientists and teachers that might move the debate on. Here are some links to follow up; survey report: link here Some projects that are being funded: link here  and  blog: link here

We spotted some study skills zombies that should have been spiked by this research: link here


Episode 162: Zombie ideas

zombieVAK up your troubles in your old kitbag… as Matthew and Steve chat through some ideas that really should be dead but still seem to be stalking the pedagogic corridors.  VAK and learning styles is one.  Are there also ideas with potential that are turned into zombies through their misuse?  Bloom’s Taxonomy might be an example.

This study is worth following up:   Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: a systematic and critical review, by  Frank Coffield, David Moseley, Elaine Hall, Kathryn Ecclestone.  A link to it can be found here.

Please let us know your thoughts about any ideas that are still doing the rounds but should have been finished off.

Anyway, need to find some straw and an old sheet pronto!


Episode 161: Eduporn?

Steve and Matthew are delighted to be joined by the ineffable Bill Boyd, Literacy Adviser, as we chew over some recent education news and eve41i3ZBDO5bL._AA160_nts.  We talk about the political mood in Scotland and notice in passing that England’s Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan is promising a less confrontational style than her predecessor:  “Nicky Morgan moves to counter Michael Gove’s ‘toxic’ legacy” Nicholas Watt, Chief Political Correspondent, The Guardian Link here

Steve unashamedly plugs a new book in which he features, published by Bloomsbury, Link here (book available for £15.85 on a certain website with dodgy tax accounting practices -allegedly!).

And so begins a debate on the relationship between higher education and the classroom – a discussion that we will have to return to

Bill talks about a new Mooc that he is participating in and the implications for processes of learning in the future: E-learning and Digital Cultures Link here

Matthew is irked once more by sloppy journalism that while it might have some good content, does us no favours in its black and white presentation of issues, Link here


Episode 160: Brass and Mahogany

thMatthew and Steve are back on the education news trail tonight, and excited by the scientific achievements of landing a bunch of experiments on a far distant comet.  However, we start with some historical reflection:

“The anarchic experimental schools of the 1970s”, By Tom de Castella BBC News Magazine. Link here See also this blog here

“There’s no stopping these destructive cuts”  TES article link here


“Why politicians need historians: Few policymakers today seem interested in lessons from the past. Their short-termism will fail to tackle the new ‘megatrends’” David Armitage, The Guardian Link here

School pupils ‘don’t have enough science equipment’  BBC story link here

IOE blog is worth checking out link here

The Language Coup

Beautifully hijacking the podcast tonight is guest ranter and welly wearer Gillian Campbell -Thow who is joined by two language legends and podcasting pros Mark Pentleton and Joe Dale.

“The Language Coo”Ayrshire_cow

Mark Pentleton
Joe Dale


All three are participating in the Scottish Association for Language Teaching conference this weekend.
A bit of lingo showboating and Gillian manages to say she’s sorry in Chinese to Mark ( probably in anticipation of a rant)
The lingo lovelies discuss some news items and Mark brings to the table how the CEO of Facebook conducted a session in Mandarin Chinese then got hammered for getting his numbers wrong
The panel discuss role models and engaging with technology to enthuse students to learn languages.

Joe looks at teaching and learning languages and the new expectations in primary in England. Being the godfather of the #mfltwitterati he talks of relevant and meaningful CPD for language learners and engagement with teachers through digital media – but is it information overload?

Mark has a wee wander down memory lane to get his 4 day old copy of le monde (while Gillian was Playing truant from his class) and Gillian is delighted to introduce Joe to “0or Wullie” and all things scots.

A braw wee podcast indeed!

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