Founded by Tom Bennett, author of the excellent “Teacher Proof” (among other things), ResearchEd is a “a grass-roots, teacher-led project that aims to make teachers research-literate and pseudo-science proof. Since 2013 ResearchED has grown from a tweet to an international conference movement that so far has spanned three continents and six countries.”
The good news is that researchED is coming to Dublin in 2019. Ireland’s curriculum designers and education academics are currently in thrall to so-called progressive education philosophies, philosophies that are characterised by a religious-like life belief in so-called 21st century skills, inquiry methods of learning, content-light curricula, ways of learning that mimic ways of working, group-work and problem-solving ability and creativity being teachable in a context-independent way. The curriculum designers need to be challenged – urgently.
The new Junior Cycle is a perfect example of progressive education in action and if you read the documentation you will find yourself bamboozled with jargon while gaining very little, if any, insight into what pupils will actually learn. The authors seem to have little or no knowledge of education and cognitive science literature (or choose to ignore that literature which runs contrary to their ideology) and even ignore very well publicised PISA data which show unequivocally that so-called student-centred methods lead to poorer outcomes.
Hopefully ResearchED will start a national conversation before the curriculum designers do even more damage to our secondary school system when they get their hands on the Leaving Cert.