I love blogging and I’m chuffed beyond reason when a post captures the imagination and pings around the internet for a few days. But I’m always taken unawares by what’s popular and what’s not. Some of my posts seem to get thousands of views whereas others are only read by a small but select group of loyal readers. Possibly this is because they’re a bit crap, but, not to be defeated, I’m hopeful that a roundup of some of the posts I most enjoyed writing but sank without a trace might do something to spark a modicum of interest. 

1. A defence of the fixed mindset 23rd January 

I really started to think a lot more critically about the growth mindset brouhaha this year. This was one of the first posts in which I began to raise some doubts.

2. Why (the hell) should students work in groups? 11th February 2015

Group work is one of those topics which is guaranteed to reveal divisions. In this post, I set out exactly what I think about forcing teachers to make children work in groups. It’s perhaps a lot less provocative than you might expect.

3. Collective punishment 2nd March 2015

A short essay of the rights and wrongs of punishing the many for the failings of the few.

4. Right brain/left brain bollocks 20th April 2015

An exasperated vent at some of the silliness that sometimes does the rounds on edu-Twitter.

5. The Variation Effect: How seating plans might be undermining learning 17th May

Variation is the least well-known of Bob Bjork’s desirable difficulties – in this post I set out some reasons why popular approaches to seating plans might be ineffective.

6. It’s the bell curve, stupid! 10th June

Some thoughts about how to read educational research and how the EEF might present its meta-analyses more helpfully.

7. Do gender differences make a difference? 18th July

Contrary to folk wisdom and popular intuition, sex makes a hell of lot less difference to educational outcomes than we want to believe.

8. What I mean by ‘relevance’ 31st August

On the mistakes teachers make when thinking about what’s relevant. Relevance is yet another of education’s weasel words. Here I set out what I think it should mean.

9. Is teaching a ‘wicked’ game? 12th October 

More thoughts on the limitations of teacher judgement: a wicked domain is one in which we don’t receive useful feedback about how to improve, so we don’t.

10. In praise of dignity and justice 12th October 

The parable of the crybully, the safe space and the victim.