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Blog2018-12-17T12:42:09+00:00

Skill=knowledge+practice

Over the years I've thought a lot about whether we should be teaching knowledge or skills. The debate has moved on a lot in recent years and today it's rare to find anyone arguing against teaching knowledge but there are many who would still advocate for a balance of knowledge and skills. The more I thought about it, the more I've realised just how meaningless this distinction is. Knowledge and [...]

By |January 11th, 2019|Categories: learning|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Conclusion: Shifting the bell curve

This is the final post in a series of chapter summaries of the arguments made in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the series can be found here. And so, we finally reach the conclusion. Here I explicitly take on the arguments of Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein in The Bell Curve. They argue that the normal distribution of intelligence across a population is more or less immutable and that "the [...]

By |January 11th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |1 Comment

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 10 Struggle and success

This post is part of a series of chapter summaries of the arguments made in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the series can be found here. This last chapter is aimed specifically at teachers and makes the case that if our aim is to make children cleverer then we should adopt explicit instruction. We look at why other methodologies which have problem solving at their heart are likely to [...]

By |January 10th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |0 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 9 Practice makes permanent

This post is part of a series of chapter summaries of the arguments made in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the series can be found here. This chapter moves our discussion of how to make children cleverer from theory into practice. In chapters 6 and 7 we talked about how knowledge can be embedded in long-term memory as 'skill' and here we move to a discussion of how best [...]

By |January 9th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |0 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 8: What knowledge?

This post is part of a series of chapter summaries of the arguments made in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the series can be found here. Having made the case that by teaching children more knowledge we are likely to make them cleverer, it's important to address the question of what knowledge ought to be taught. The case made in this chapter is that we should inoculate children against [...]

By |January 7th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |0 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 7 You are what you know

This post summarises the arguments in the seventh chapter of my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the chapter summaries can be found here. I'm sure that some readers who my be otherwise sympathetic to the arguments I advance about making children cleverer will take issue with some of the points I make in this chapter, particularly as I side step some of the thorniest philosophical debates about what precisely constitutes [...]

By |January 6th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |0 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer: Chapter 6 How memory works

This post is part of a series of chapter summaries of the arguments made in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the series can be found here. If you've been following the argument so far, you'll know that I'm suggesting that we can make children cleverer by increasing their crystallised intelligence - their store of knowledge in long-term memory - and to do that we need to find ways of [...]

By |January 5th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |1 Comment

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 5 Can we get cleverer?

This post summarises the arguments in the fifth chapter of my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the chapter summaries can be found here. If intelligence is casually connected with heath, happiness and safety, if the environment matters in determining how intelligent we end up, how can we go about making ourselves cleverer? One thing we can be fairly sure will raise children’s intelligence is sending them to school. Education and [...]

By |January 4th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |2 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 4: Nature via nurture

This post summarises the arguments in the fourth chapter of my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the chapter summaries can be found here. A central consideration to the project of making kids cleverer is where intelligence comes from; is it in our genes or is it a product of our environments? The answer is, both. In a very obvious sense no one is ‘born clever’. Babies would universally perform poorly [...]

By |January 3rd, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |3 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer Chapter 3: Is intelligence the answer?

This post summarises the arguments in the third chapter of my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. The rest of the chapter summaries can be found here. Whatever it is you value, intelligence seems to be intimately connected with it. When experts are asked to define intelligence they come up with an unhelpfully broad and diverse range of definitions. Although we all tend to know what we mean when we describe a person [...]

By |January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |0 Comments

Making Kids #Cleverer – Chapter 2: Built by culture

This is the second of a series of posts summarising the arguments in my new book, Making Kids Cleverer.  The second chapter reviews some what we know from evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology and archeology about how we learn and think. The human mind is both built for and by culture. Although our brains are essentially the same as those of our Palaeolithic ancestors, our access to the vast accumulation of human culture [...]

By |January 1st, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: |3 Comments

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