Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

End graded observations: this year’s brain gym, and the gorilla in the classroom

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Pragmatic Education


Hidden in plain sight

Research is powerful. It can chime with your intuition, or shatter preconceptions. Like when half of all observers in an experiment to count passes of the ball, failed to spot a gorilla enter the game.

On Monday 13th January, Professor Rob Coe gave a speech at an event co-hosted by the Teacher Development Trust on lesson observations in English schools.

It was utterly shattering in its implications for school leaders. It turns out we are all complicit in this year’s brain gym.

Ben Goldacre in Bad Science demolished brain gym as a widely but uncritically adopted fad, an unscientific and useless intervention. Tom Bennett in Teacher Proof and Dan Willingham have demolished others such as VAK learning styles as pervasive but unevidenced. At ResearchEd 2013, Tom asked, what is this year’s brain gym? What are we falling for right now?

Professor Coe’s collation of the research

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