What do students remember?

I’ve recently had a conversation with a colleague about how students rarely remember the content you teach them after they leave school. We concluded though that students will always remember how you treated them, whether it be favourably or unfavourably. But I realised later that how you approach your work and subject, including the thought […]

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Beyond behaviouristic conditioning in teaching

As a student, a teacher, or an adult you’ve probably experience Behaviourism’s Operant Conditioning at some time in your life. Teachers use it all the time to guide student behaviour, and while I believe it has a place I also believe that it can be (and is) overused in the classroom. Firstly, what is it? Operant Conditioning is the […]

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Learned helplessness in the classroom – What teachers can do

I’m about 20 minutes into a class with 28 science students. We’re investigating electric circuits and how current, voltage and resistance influence each other and I’ve done a bit of theory in the class already, explaining the what happens with an animation and an analogy and a little bit of drilling (the voltage pushes the current, the current […]

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Thoughts on the Leaving Certificate Exams

“Teaching for the exams” has long been considered a dirty phrase in teaching. I believe it’s time to re-assess this, in a balanced way. Before my words are misrepresented, I believe in the importance of teaching subject content, skills, attitudes and behaviours that facilitate student learning and growth. In my subject, learning appropriate skills, attitudes and […]

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Digital prosumers

Prosumers take in multiple sources of information, analyse it and then produce a new body of work. They act simultaneously as producer and consumer of information. Digital natives today are prosumers; absorbing information in different media forms and meshing it together to create something new. What does this mean for educators? Research and analysis skills […]

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Integrating technology into education

When I started teaching fifteen years ago, IT in the classroom was being promoted as education’s saviour. Smart boards were replacing blackboards and whiteboards, Powerpoints with multimedia were adding some much-needed flash to the classroom and notes could be handed out to students, rather than having them transcribe from the board. So, IT was changing […]

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