A manifesto for closing the advantage gap: my slides from researchED18

//A manifesto for closing the advantage gap: my slides from researchED18

The talk I gave a this year’s researchED national conference was, I’m afraid to say, shameless promotion for my new book, Making Kids Cleverer. Each of the slides represents an incredibly brief potted summary of the book’s ten chapters. The book will be published some time in the coming months and, as the release date approaches, I’ll write a series of posts that expands on each chapter. For now I hope this sufficiently whets your appetite to pre-order a copy.

2018-09-09T11:45:41+00:00September 9th, 2018|Featured|


  1. chemistrypoet September 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Really, need a purple cover, not orange – and the figure looks like Trump.

  2. Allan Katz September 12, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Imho if you want to make kids cleverer and not as Montaigne said – assess loaded with books you have to think about knowledge, seeing it as a product or as Jerome Bruner put it a process. Do we say thinking comes later or is knowledge driven by questions, context , problems, making meaning,thinking.In any case over and over again, studies have demonstrated that we memorize best when we analyze what we are learning, find patterns in it, and relate it to knowledge we already have. In other words, when we think about it.You mentioned a debating team that knew so much. I suggest that curiosity, interest, making meaning, questions were driving the need for knowledge and the internalization of that knowledge. And then we have student involvement in the learning process, student talk being critical to learning and if the focus is on covering ground student talk will be kept to a minimum. Nobody says knowledge is not important and if we stress thinking and meaning making we use facts , knowledge. As an educator I am impressed with kids’ thinking and not what they know.

    • David Didau September 15, 2018 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      People really do say knowledge isn’t important! If you’d like a list of bullshit articles making precisely this claim, just let me know.

      You say, “As an educator I am impressed with kids’ thinking and not what they know.” That seems somewhat meaningless. Can you give me an example of thinking divorced from knowledge? If you cannot think about something then you cannot be said to know it. And vice versa. The two are indivisible.

  3. Allan Katz September 15, 2018 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    For sure knowledge not in context, for a purpose, interest is soon lost and in any case not much use as kids say – I did the test , got a 100 and then forget everything the moment I left the exam room. There are kids who can tell you in great detail of what took place in a book , but ask them a question and the answer is not in the book – more about judgment, making a hypothesis , a suggestion and then supporting the argument. They are clueless. I can give a similar question in a history lesson about some event that they have not studied and have no knowledge. They will ask – what information do I need to answer this question and how can I find this information.

    • David Didau September 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry Allan, I’m afraid I don’t know enough to understand your comment. Would you care to explain it more fully?

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