Daniel Kahneman

Can we improve school interviews? Part 2: Intuition vs. statistical prediction

2020-02-27T09:11:40+00:00May 10th, 2017|psychology|

In Part 1 I reviewed some of the research around the best way to recruit and how this might apply to school recruitment. One of the suggestions I made was that schools should "design an interview format around no more than six qualities or attributes and come up with a short list of questions for each attribute. Then score each interview on a scale of 1-5 for each of the metrics you’ve come up with." In this post I will go into more detail about exactly what that might look like. I'm basing these suggestions on the ideas of Daniel Kahneman and [...]

Can we improve school interviews? Part 1: A brief review of the research

2020-02-27T09:05:58+00:00May 9th, 2017|leadership|

Recruitment for most employers is straightforward: you advertise, read through applications, invite the people you like in for an interview, think about it for a bit and then enter into negotiations with whoever you most want to employ. In education it's different. Schools are weird. When I was first told how school recruitment works on my PGCE I couldn't believe it, "They do what?" For any non teachers, school recruitment works like this: All candidates for the job are invited in to the school on the same day. Candidates have to plan a lesson for a class they know almost nothing about [...]

On gimmicks

2017-07-15T21:47:07+01:00October 2nd, 2016|learning|

What is a gimmick? The dictionary defines it as "a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or trade." So, putting a cartoon tiger on a packet of breakfast cereal in order to attract children's attention is a gimmick. So is repackaging ordinary Shreddies as 'Diamond Shreddies'. In the words of Rory Sutherland, these sorts of gimmicks attempt to solve problems by "tinkering with perception, rather than that tedious, hardworking and messy business of actually trying to change reality." An example of something that isn't a gimmick is a BOGOF offer where the customer gets something of practical value that they might actually [...]

Go Compare!

2016-09-09T20:54:35+01:00September 9th, 2016|assessment|

Another one from Teach Secondary, this one from their assessment special. This time it's an over view of Comparative Judgement. Human beings are exceptionally poor at judging the quality of a thing on its own. We generally know whether we like something but we struggle to accurately evaluate just how good or bad a thing is. It’s much easier for us to compare two things and weigh up the similarities and differences. This means we are often unaware of what a ‘correct’ judgement might be and are easily influenced by extraneous suggestions. This is compounded by the fact that we aren’t [...]

We don’t know what we don’t know: the uses of humility

2020-07-20T13:37:31+01:00November 5th, 2015|leadership, psychology|

Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life. George Arliss In my last post I challenged the widely-held belief that teachers' judgements are generally sound and suggested instead that we are routinely beset by very predictable but unconscious bias. Two criticisms emerged that I want to address. Firstly, some commenters noted that it's impossible to prevent teachers making judgments and that, in essence, a large part of the act of teaching is making judgements about pupils' learning. As such, any attempt to remove subjective bias from teaching is fundamentally flawed. [...]

Why teacher assessment is less fair than standardised testing

2021-08-10T12:07:55+01:00November 4th, 2015|assessment|

Tests Guns don't kill people, rappers do Goldie Lookin Chain I spent the day yesterday at the Department for Education thinking about how best to cut down on the "unnecessary workload" associated with marking. Today I spent far too much time bandying words with children's writer, Michael Rosen about the value of testing over teacher assessment. It strikes me that both experiences offer an opportunity to set out my objections to teacher assessment and my support for standardised testing. Let's start with teacher assessment. My first concern is that any expectation on teachers to assess students' work adds to their workload. If we're [...]

Five techniques for overcoming overconfidence and improving decision-making

2020-01-21T18:39:02+00:00November 3rd, 2015|leadership, psychology|

One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision. Bertrand Russell Every successful leader will have one thing in common: they trust their judgement. And why not? Their intuitions must have proved their worth otherwise they wouldn’t be successful, right? Well, maybe not. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman suggests that “the amount of success it takes for leaders to become overconfident isn’t terribly large.” Kahneman’s paper, co-authored with Gary Klein, Conditions for Intuitive: Expertise A Failure to Disagree, argues that overconfidence is at the [...]

“Works for me!” The problem with teachers’ judgement

2019-02-10T18:46:05+00:00October 11th, 2015|leadership|

It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own. Alexander Pope One of the difficulties inherent in challenging teachers' judgments is that when those judgements appear to be contradicted teachers sometimes say, "Well, it works for me and my students." This is hard to challenge. Anthony Radice made a similar point in a recent blog post about the debilitating nature of complacent certainty: A clear example of this kind of complacency is contained in the words, ‘I know my pupils’. It’s the killer punch to an argument, because it is not [...]

Teaching for independence: thinking, memory & mastery

2014-07-02T17:08:59+01:00July 2nd, 2014|learning|

Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think. John Stuart Mill It's been a while now since I last wrote about the Teaching Sequence for Independence, so I'll start with a brief recap on what has come to be meant by 'independent learning'. Up until relatively recently there has been a strongly held belief amongst many teachers that pupils will only become independent if we encourage our pupils to learn independently. In essence, this [...]

Squaring the circle: can learning be easy and hard?

2014-09-17T19:56:47+01:00May 11th, 2014|learning|

Regular readers will know I've been ploughing a furrow on this question for quite a while now. Last June I synthesised my thinking in this post: Deliberately difficult – why it’s better to make learning harder. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the arguments, I'll summarise them briefly: - Learning is different from performance (the definition of learning I'm using here is the long-term retention and transfer of knowledge and skills) - We can't actually see learning happen; we can only infer it from performance - Performance is a very poor indicator of learning - Reducing performance might actually increase learning This [...]

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