Tag Archives: Insight

The Best TED & TEDx Talks for Teachers & Students


The Best TED, TEDx & TED-Ed Talks for Teachers & Students In no particular order: Do Schools Kill Creativity? (Ken Robinson) Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than … Continue reading

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Naked Monkey Freaky Smart Stuff: Six of the Best and Most Accessible and Most Interesting Podcasts That Are Better Than Idols


It's been four years since I got turned on to podcasts. I listen to new episodes on my commute to and from work, during my admin periods, while I'm blogging and just about whenever I can stitch a few moments … Continue reading

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‘UnEducation’: A Creative Path to Better Teaching and Learning


Question: What happens when you ‘un’ something? Answer: You turn it into its opposite. You flip it. Believable becomes unbelievable, blocked becomes unblocked and afraid becomes unafraid. Uning doesn’t make a thing disappear, it simply inverts it. It is not … Continue reading

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The Kind of Kid I Prefer to Teach


I don't care about how well you do in your tests and exams. I don't care about how much time / money / effort you put into your assignments. I don't care about how well-behaved you are, or how well … Continue reading

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Why Not Do It Differently? A New Organisational Recipe for Schools


Almost anywhere in the world, schools follow a fairly predictable management recipe which goes something like this: THE TRADITIONAL RECIPE Take 1 x Principal Add 2 or 3 Deputy Principals to taste Mix in a dozen Head Teachers or Heads … Continue reading

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Opiate of the Masses: Richard Dawkins’s Brilliant Analogy


Opiate of the Masses (Excerpt) by Richard Dawkins It is a highly addictive drug, but governments everywhere encourage its use… I came across this excellent piece by Richard Dawkins on 'Gerin Oil' recently. It serves as an excellent analogy for … Continue reading

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40 More Things Students Don’t Say


Things Students Don’t Say:

Standardized tests really allow me to demonstrate my learning in a personalized way.
The curriculum really is more important than I am. No really, it is!
School is definitely about how well I do in the exams.
My education is preparing me for life.
I don’t feel like I am just a number. Continue reading

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Homework is a Slimy, Smelly, Nasty Troll That Eats the Souls of Children


Homework is evil. Truly, wickedly, horridly evil. Homework is a slimy, smelly, nasty troll which eats the souls of children. And these unfortunate souls are shoveled into homework’s gaping, slobbering maws by its devoted minions.

We call these unthinking, complicit minions ‘teachers’. Continue reading

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Why It’s Time for Machines to Take Over Marking High-Stakes Tests


Assessors of these collective, uniform exams have to mark their way through hundreds of submissions. They usually sit in a room with piles of exams around them and mark for days on end until those piles disappear. And often they are under-motivated, under-qualified, over-tired and not in the mood to look for insight, independent thinking and innovative thought. They just want to switch on their autonomic brains and send as many assessments through the marking conveyor belt as they can. Continue reading

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Why Declining National Assessment Standards Hurts Kids


You would think that lowering the standards of final national exams in South Africa would be good news for kids. Easier exams mean more of them pass more easily. And top students can clean up. You would be wrong. Easier … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, South Africa, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

And In The Darkness Bind Them: The Biggest Education Myth Of All


On Medieval Elitism, The Mythological Underworld and Magical Fellowships Wading Through the Fog There is a thick layer of myths in education. We are surrounded by things that sound as if they should be true, but are not. Despairingly, most … Continue reading

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My Playlist of Animated Shorts to Teach Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Controversial Issues


Hope you can use them. Please give me a shout if you think there are any I should add… Pay me a visit on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanhcole

Posted in Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Send Them to Mars! (Why a Good Education Will Get Kids Into Space)


Image: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1121/NASA-s-Curiosity-Mars-rover-to-lay-the-foundation-for-search-for-life-Video What does it take to be an astronaut? In addition to being creative, psychologically and emotionally stable, with a strong sense of drive and intrinsic motivation, NASA says that they “cannot stress enough the importance of an applicant's … Continue reading

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Defending Mediocrity: Examiners and their Apologists in South Africa


Excuse me while I rant a bit… In South Africa, there are two alternative examination authorities: those set under the auspices of the Government (the National Senior Certificate – NSC) and those set by an Independent Examinations Board (the IEB). … Continue reading

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What is Intelligence? (Towards An Integrated Conception of Braininess)


Introduction: On Love and Light-Sabres What is Intelligence? It seems like an easy question. But it really isn’t. I’ve been thinking about intelligence for years, and I have yet to find a definition I entirely agree with. Of course, there … Continue reading

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A Very Academic Problem


The Teachers vs The Greeks Teachers: Please stop using the word ‘academic’. You don’t know what it means. When you say things like “this is an academic school”, or “we need to lift our academic standards”, or even “I am … Continue reading

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Why I Teach (Part 1)


I teach to see the lights go on behind young people’s eyes when they discover something new about the world.

I teach to awaken them to what they can really do if they try.

I teach to show them that there isn’t always an easy solution, and that appreciating ambiguity and uncertainty is often worth more than easy answers… Continue reading

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6 of the Best Podcasts for Teachers, Autodidacts, Critical Thinkers & Other Interesting People


This is my favourite podcast of them all. Episodes are hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and tackle a range of fascinating topics. Slick, clever and interesting. Get them all! Continue reading

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Blog-a-gogy: 10 Things Blogging Has Taught Me About Teaching


The first thing blogging has taught me is to start with the meat. That said… Start With the Meat. I actually only learnt this after my previous post on The Mozart Effect and Learning Styles. I had a long waffle … Continue reading

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20 Reasons Why (Some) Teachers Are What’s Wrong With Education


Some teachers are what is wrong with the system. They blame everyone else for the problems in modern-day schools: students, parents, school leaders and the government – but very seldom do they turn the bright lamp of accusation on themselves. … Continue reading

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