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September 04, 2008


John Connell

Ollie - you might have seen some of this already, but Stephen Downes has been commenting on this question/debate recently - see:



Tony Cassidy

My mind goes over and over with this... at the end I come to the conclusion that good teaching uses a variety of methods to engage with students, the most effective teachers always have, this is what we aim for.

The one aspect I gain from the debate is that intelligence is not fixed... this I believe is the most powerful factor in learning, if you believe your intelligence is fixed, and are told so, then there is not point in learning.

José  Picardo

I have seen the most boring visual presentations and learnt nothing. I have also listened to pretty boring people and learn very little. Does that meant I am a kinaesthetic learner?

I don't think so. It's all in the teaching, as the previous comment rightly points out, there needs to be variety in the way a topic is presented... a litle bit of this, al little bit of that keeps the students' focused. A bored student will not learn.


Whatever 'new method' appears hastobe trialled and evaluated before it's automatically accepted. Some examples would be the theory of - FLOW embedded in teaching, Scaffolding and ZPD- Vygotsky and the Counter Argument for Teaching Emotional Literacy,by Dr Carol Craig. We teach FGC in one class to avoid all the labelling, dare I say it, Nonsene.


I wish I could get to this event, at the Centre above -
Masterclass themes
The Curriculum for Excellence makes the creation of 'confident individual' one of the four purposes of education. It is not uncommon for government initiatives to have unintended consequences and one of the Centre's fears is that the adoption of this aspect of the CfE will lead to an erosion of young people's resilience as well as a weakening of academic standards. This is exactly what has happened in the United States. What we need to do in Scotland is make sure that we have a sufficient understanding of confidence, how it is formed and how it can be nurtured by others.


Hi Nick, that’s for your comments. I think you make a really good point about the word ‘confidence’ and what we actually mean by it. I guess the same is true for the other three capacities of A Curriculum for Excellence. I look forward to finding out more about the Scottish Centre for Confidence. The confidence in the young people of Scotland (particularly the boys) is something that really worries me. OB


Ollie, yes it's a really interesting site/centre. Like you, I believe in the Outdoor Learning 'tool' for providing unique challenges for children with instant success and achievement. I did 43 nights last year OL after school. It worries me that we are supposed to be 'Teaching' emotional intelligence, if you read Carol Craigs research and counter argument to EI teaching, then it really does enlighten you. Right, some past papers to mark....

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