the importance of learning and teaching to the institute of education dylan wiliam
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The importance of (learning and) teaching to the Institute of Education Dylan Wiliam. A brief history of HE funding…. Integration of funding pre-1992 and post-1992 universities Research Quality based mechanism (RAE) QR supports a maximum of 50% of academic staff salary Teaching

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a brief history of he funding
A brief history of HE funding…
  • Integration of funding pre-1992 and post-1992 universities
    • Research
      • Quality based mechanism (RAE)
      • QR supports a maximum of 50% of academic staff salary
    • Teaching
      • Quality-independent mechanism (tolerance bands)
      • Fee caps too low for discrimination between providers
      • Commodification of teaching
future developments
Future developments
  • Quality-related student contributions to tuition costs
    • Need to achieve, and demonstrate, increased quality
  • The ‘death of distance’
    • for distance learning students
    • but also for students attending full-time
  • To secure its future, the Institute needs to become as demonstrably excellent for its teaching as it is for its research
enrolment on modules in 2008
Enrolment on modules in 2008

Policy minimum: 23 students per module

2006 2008

Mean: 15 18

Median 12 16

Mode 11 15

and we are largely on our own
…and we are largely on our own…
  • Two extremes
    • Teachers doing the learning for the learners
    • Teachers “facilitating learning”
  • Key concept
    • Teachers do not create learning
    • Learners create learning
    • But all teachers can do is teach (learning vs. teaching)
  • Teaching is the engineering of effective learning environments
    • Psychology underdetermines pedagogy
    • Teaching is fundamentally a creative activity
    • Creativity is very widely distributed, but often suppressed
principles of curriculum design
Principles of curriculum design
  • Curriculum: a selection from culture
    • Balanced
    • Rigorous
    • Vertically integrated
    • Focused

The test of successful education is not the amount of knowledge that a pupil takes away from school, but his appetite to know and his capacity to learn. If the school sends out children with the desire for knowledge and some idea how to acquire it, it will have done its work. Too many leave school with the appetite killed and the mind loaded with undigested lumps of information. The good schoolmaster is known by the number of valuable subjects which he declines to teach.

(Sir Richard Livingstone, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1941)

effective learning environments
Effective learning environments
  • Create student engagement
    • pedagogies of engagement
  • Well-regulated
    • pedagogies of contingency
  • Develop habits of mind
    • pedagogies of formation
pedagogies of engagement
Pedagogies of engagement
  • Intelligence is partly inherited
    • So what?
  • Intelligence is partly environmental
    • Environment creates intelligence
    • Intelligence creates environment
      • Dual-pathway theory (Boekaerts)
        • Well-being
        • Growth
  • Learning environments
    • Inclusive
    • Varied
    • Efficient
active learning roles
Active learning roles?
  • The TIMSS video studies of middle-school mathematics classrooms looked at the proportion of teacher words to student words in randomly selected examples of classroom practice
    • USA 8
    • Japan 13
    • Hong Kong 16
hinge point question
Hinge-point question
  • On average, across all the award-bearing teaching at the Institute,how many teacher words are there per student word?
    • More student words than teacher words
    • About equal numbers of teacher words and student words
    • Three times as many teacher words as student words
    • Five times as many teacher words as student words
    • More than five times as many teacher words as student words
motivation cause or effect















Motivation: cause or effect?

(Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)

pedagogies of contingency
Pedagogies of contingency
  • Learning is unpredictable
    • Learners do not learn what we teach
    • It is only through assessment that we can connect what we do as teachers to its outcomes (“like so many bottles thrown out into the sea”; Perrenoud 1998)
  • Assessment is therefore the bridge between teaching and learning, and thus the central process of teaching (as opposed to lecturing)
  • A large, and growing literature providing evidence of the beneficial effects of formative assessment
formative assessment
Formative assessment

An assessment functions formatively when evidence about student achievement elicited by the assessment is interpreted and used to make decisions about the next steps in instruction that are likely to be better, or better founded, than the decisions that would have been made in the absence of that evidence.

Formative assessment therefore involves the creation of, and capitalization upon, moments of contingency (short, medium and long cycle) in instruction with a view to regulating learning (proactive, interactive, and retroactive).

dealing with diversity
Dealing with diversity
  • Ignore it (“one-size-fits-all”)
  • Individualize instruction (“made-to-measure”)
  • Personalization
    • Mass customization (rather than mass production or individualization)
    • Diversity becomes a valuable instructional resource
hinge point question1
Hinge-point question
  • An experimental study of a new method of teaching reading reports that a result was significant (p<0.05). This means that:
    • The experimental group out-performed the control group by 5%
    • There is a 5% chance that the experimental group did not out-perform the control group
    • There is a 5% chance that there is no difference between the experimental group and the treatment group
    • There is only a 5% chance that the observed result would have happened if the experimental and control groups had the same achievement
hinge point question2
Hinge-point question
  • Which of the following is the most important difference between the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky?
    • Piaget places greater importance on the role of conservation in cognitive development.
    • Vygotsky places greater importance on the role of cultural artifacts in cognitive development.
    • Vygotsky did not believe in distinct stages of cognitive development.
    • Piaget was a social constructivist while Vygotsky placed greater emphasis on cultural-historical activity theory
other supports for contingency
Other supports for contingency
  • All-student response systems
    • ABCD cards
    • “Exit-pass” questions
hinge point question3
Hinge-point question
  • Summarize the key principles of the following schools of psychology on the appropriate coloured card
    • Associationism (blue)
    • Information processing (orange)
    • Constructivism (red)
    • Situated approaches (green)
pedagogies of formation
Pedagogies of formation
  • Instilling disciplinary habits of mind
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Statistics
  • Instilling critical perspectives
    • Values
the limitations of consciousness
The limitations of consciousness

(Nørretranders, 1998)

knowledge transfer and creation
Knowledge ‘transfer’ and creation

After Nonaka & Tageuchi, 1995

improvements in pediatric cardiac surgery
Improvements in pediatric cardiac surgery




Early death rate

Senning 12%

Transitional 25%

Bull, et al (2000). BMJ, 320, 1168-1173.

impact on life expectancy
Impact on life expectancy

Life expectancy:

Senning: 46.6 years

Switch: 62.6 years

No excuse for making the same mistakes over and over again
  • But no excuse for not making mistakes
  • “Make new mistakes” (Esther Dyson)
  • Excellence in teaching is vital to the future success of the Institute
  • Every single one of us needs to improve as a teacher
    • Not because we are not good enough
    • But because we can be better
  • The Institute needs to play a leading role in developing signature pedagogies for Education and related Social Science
closing thoughts
Closing thoughts
  • “In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and highest responsibility anyone could have.”
  • Lee Iacocca

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Marianne Williamson, A return to love