“Pick me…!! Pick me!!”

10 Feb

How many classes have you sat in and impulsively shouted out the answer to a question asked by the teacher?!

Were you told off for shouting out?!

Or, was it drilled into you to only give your answer when asked to do so by the teacher?!

A study by Durham University on 12,000 pupils in England concluded that children who impulsively “blurted out” their answers performed better in Maths and English tests than their peers who didn’t have the urge to shout out… Some children were 9 months ahead of their peers!!

Gender differences were evaluated and despite finding both sexes benefit from shouting out, it was mainly boys that shouted out.


Prof Peter Tymms

“What’s a disadvantage to some might be an advantage to others”


From this quote, it makes me think how each child is different and that lessons should be suitable for the needs of all the students in the class. So, perhaps sometimes children should be allowed to shout out and other times they should be made to wait until asked to speak.

Thinking is a very complicated process. Being introduced into my secondary school is a concept called “wait-time” and “think-time”. This has also been found to have beneficial results and can explain why sometimes children are refrained from shouting out. “Wait-time” was first termed by Mary Budd Rowe (1972). This is a period of silence between the question being asked and the students answering. Mary Budd Rowe’s studies showed that when the silence gap exceeded 3 seconds, there were positive consequences for both the behaviour and attitude of the students and teachers.

In 1985, Stahl introduced the concept of “think-time”. This was preferred to “wait-time” as it specified its primary academic purpose. Think-time if defined as an amount of uninterrupted time, complete silence for the teacher and student, where everyone can complete information-processing tasks efficiently.  When think-time is applied appropriately, it can have a significant effect on the teaching and learning occurring in the classroom.

What are your thoughts? Did you find people shouting out distracting?! Or were you the shouter?




Education System… Like a Production Line perhaps?!

6 Feb

Whose place is it to decide what we should learn? If the economy is changing, why isn’t what and how we learn adapting??

Some people are beginning to feel that schools are putting barriers in students’ path to succeeding, instead of removing them! You may ask…  how are they doing this?

  1. Creativity à Killed (Ken Robinson)? Is it because students are pressurized to accept the circumstances, any ideas people may have of differing from the accepted norm is dismissed
  2. Independent thinking à Anymore? Replaced by dependent thinking
  3. Pressure to excel à Students are pushed and pushed, they must succeed, and failure is not an option. Does this kill a students love to learn? Learning for love and enjoyment is a beneficial life skill… should we be killing it?


Think of a classroom… what’s required?

An active interest from students to their instructors program. In my A-level psychology class, the book was full of topics that we could study, but because the topic choices had to be entered 9 months previous we got no say on what we learnt! Fair?! I didn’t think so!

Brophy (2008) elaborated on a presentation presented about “Developing Students’ Appreciation for what is Taught in School”. He concluded, that individuals who devise the curriculum, and the teachers, must make the students aware of the worth of the material they’re learning. When students are engaged in activities, with perhaps Vygostky’s learning by scaffolding, and the value of the material is fully explained and not passed over, and its applications are modelled, the students will then “experience its valued affordance”.

Schools currently are classroom focused, having shifted from natural learning. A quote I found from the 1900’s by Henry Ford about a production line mindset now seems applicable to the education system, “repetitive action with limited skills and no responsibility”. In my opinion, learning shouldn’t be like walking up stairs, few steps you reach the top and you walk or fall, in relation to education you master a few stages, get to the exam at the end and you pass or fail. This module I feel is like a treadmill, learning has no end, we decide when we are done learning, and press the stop button or is there even a stop button?



Have you had your Weetabix?!

27 Jan

Breakfast, for several reasons, is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. According to William Cochran, breakfast sets the body up for the day ahead, yet he describes how 8-12% of children skip breakfast. There are a variety of reasons for why children skip breakfast despite positive ramifications eating breakfast has on academic performance.

Children who eat breakfast have been found to have improved learning skills compared to those who skip breakfast. In 1998, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital reported children who ate breakfast received higher maths scores, had better attendance to school, and experienced less hyperactivity and fatigue than those who didn’t eat breakfast. Research has also shown that children are less likely to receive detention or suspension once a routine of eating breakfast regularly has been established. If a child does not have breakfast, they are often going 10-12 hours without food, if not more, meaning they are having no input of energy. Energy is required for an individual to learn, “to fuel the brain”. Good nutritional breakfast foods allow an individual to focus, think clearly, and maintain energy throughout the day. When a child experiences hunger, their energy levels decrease and are less motivated to attend to the lesson being taught. A systematic review by Hoyland, Dye and Lawton (2009) on 45 studies concluded that the consumption of breakfast has a beneficial influence on a child’s cognitive performance.

Years of consistent research led to public health bodies instigating breakfast programmes throughout many school, in many countries. In one programme, principles of the schools where a programme was hosted, 97% believed that their school benefited from the programme. In 2004, the Welsh Assembly Government began a free breakfast programme and by 2010, it was introduced into its 1000th school. The aim of the programme was to ensure that children from low economic backgrounds were fed, enabling them to have the best possible start to their day. So why would the Conservative Party want to get rid of such an excellent and beneficial programme? The Conservative education spokesman has said that feeding breakfast to a child is the “responsibility of parents” (BBC News). In my opinion this is to an extent correct, but if financial constraints stop a child from having breakfast does that mean they are not entitled to concentrate in school, to not be able to concentrate and obtain their potential. The free breakfast programme in Wales provides that little extra support to parents and children who are living in poverty. Perhaps developing a scheme with breakfast like they have for lunchtime, where children receive help towards food costs depending on your personal circumstances.

I personally love cereal and have it everyday, if I don’t I can tell within an hour of being up, I am hungry, tired and can’t concentrate on anything.

Imagine what we could all have achieved academically if we all ate breakfast throughout our whole time in academia… the competition for University places would certainly increase!!

Science of Education

24 Jan

Welcome to my blog!

Not really sure what i am doing here just yet… but i’ll get there!

I am looking forward to blogging, commenting and learning with you all!

Now to some research for my actual blog.