Why Learning Fails

Uncover the reasons behind learning pitfalls with my range of blogs. Explore learning failures such as working memory constraints, insufficient background knowledge, overconfidence, and the pitfalls of poor planning and independence. The blogs offer practical solutions to overcome these hurdles, empowering learners with effective strategies and tools for success. Whether you're a teacher, leader, or educator, you can better root out learning failures to secure future success.

Goal Setting and Building Cathedrals Post feature image

Goal Setting and Building Cathedrals

How do we encourage reluctant children to successfully stick with a tricky task? How do we advise truculent teens to persist through a long and winding learning curve fraught with failure? These are the perennial questions we ask that are about how best to motivate learners to undertake the struggle

Fixing Learning with Formative Assessment Post feature image

Fixing Learning with Formative Assessment

Even with the best-laid curriculum plans, classroom learning can easily go awry. A painstakingly crafted lesson plan is always at the mercy of pupils’ misunderstanding.  In his brilliant book, entitled ‘The Hidden Lives of Learners’, Graham Nuthall observed and recorded around 10,000 lessons and concluded that: “One of the

8 Reasons Why Learning Fails Post feature image

8 Reasons Why Learning Fails

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Henry Ford We can all be quick to celebrate our successes, but we can possess a natural reluctance to share or talk about failure. And yet, given how complex teaching and learning in the classroom proves, it becomes

Why Learning Fails - Publication Day Post feature image

Why Learning Fails - Publication Day

It is a truth universally acknowledged – and bemoaned – that pupils do not learn all that they are taught. They may learn something. They may even learn a lot. But it may not be a lot of what we think we have taught them. If you multiply these learning failures thirty

Improving Independent Learning Post feature image

Improving Independent Learning

Every teacher can share ample examples of their students struggling to learn independently. From giving up during an extended piece of writing, to getting stuck and stopping with tricky algebra problems, or forgetting homework and avoiding revision.   A lack of independence is a commonplace issue in education, but less common

Confidence Tests and Exam Wrappers Post feature image

Confidence Tests and Exam Wrappers

We all get our students to do tests. We do long answers, short answers, multiple choice, long essays, or performances in Music, Drama, PE and Art. In short, there is lots of testing and, as we know, lots of feedback. We all know that this tried and tested (sorry!) method

Overconfidence - Explaining it Away Post feature image

Overconfidence - Explaining it Away

(Image via Stowe Boyd from Flickr)   “The human mind is an overconfidence machine.” David Brooks, The Social Animal Overconfidence is dangerous. How many ill-judged wars, invasions, crashes, economic downturns and worse, have been initiated by confident fools? Now, such overconfidence provokes such massive global catastrophes, but it also triggers trivial

Who do you think you are? Post feature image

Who do you think you are?

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (1881) Going to university to study English Language and Literature is

CV of Failures Post feature image

CV of Failures

Sometimes a social media story goes viral for all the right reasons. It is just enough aslant from conventional opinion that the headline grabs your attention and you click the link and delve in to read. This CNBC story, of the Princeton professor who ‘posted his CV of failures for

Thinking Hard...and Motivation Post feature image

Thinking Hard...and Motivation

Are you struggling to motivate your horizontal students too? So we have found the secret to learning…thinking hard. Part one of this series – you can find it here – explored what we mean by thinking hard and it explored just some of the many reasons why we avoid it. It