Welcome to Filling the Pail by Greg Ashman

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I am Greg Ashman, a teacher, blogger, writer and podcaster. My new blog posts are all at Substack and you can sign-up for free. This site now houses blog archives up to roughly the end of 2020. I’ve written two books – The Truth about Teaching and The Power of Explicit Teaching and Direct Instruction. If you Google my name, you will come across various articles I have written for different sources. My podcast lives here

My most popular blog-posts in this archive are What is Explicit Instruction? and 5 Principles of Education.

If you click on the menu button at the top of this page you can find videos of some of my talks. You can contact me below:

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Amanda VanDerHeyden

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cangs-11c637c

Dr. Amanda VanDerHeyden is a mathematics education researcher, founder of Spring Math and a policy Adviser who is also involved in new Science of Math initiative. In this episode, Amanda talks to Greg Ashman about how she developed an interest in class-wide maths intervention and what makes such an intervention successful. Amanda and Greg also discuss use of data, explicit teaching and how to deal with the arguments of the ‘other side’, including a discussion of procedural fluency versus conceptual understanding, productive struggle and the idea that timed tests cause maths anxiety.

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Eric Kalenze

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zzmk4-11a4c3f

Eric Kalenze is a teacher, curriculum and instruction lead, occasional consultant, researchED US organizer, and author of the books, Education is Upside-Down and What the Academy Taught Us, as well as the A Total Ed Case blog. In this episode, Eric talks to Greg Ashman about his awakening to the research evidence around teaching and education, and the journey that led him to write two books about education and his experiences of school improvement. On the way, Eric and Greg discuss Eric’s funnel metaphor, differentiated instruction, how reform efforts are frustrated and Eric’s experiences coordinating researchED US. 

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Glenn Savage

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gp9rc-113658a

Glenn Savage is an associate professor at the University of Western Australia who is an expert in education reform and the author of the book, “The Quest for Revolution in Australian Schooling Policy”. In this episode, Glenn talks to Greg Ashman about ‘alignment thinking’ and asks whether ever greater alignment in education policy is necessarily a good thing. Along the way, Glenn and Greg discuss Australia’s education system, how it has arisen and the role of evidence and ‘what works’ in framing school reform. 

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Daisy Christodoulou 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-q8yzn-10f06a3

Daisy Christodoulou was the second guest on this podcast back in 2020. Daisy returns in this episode to talk about writing with Greg Ashman. Daisy and Greg discuss comparative judgement, banal writing prompts, the limits of moderation and the contribution of a knowledge rich curriculum to writing. Along the way, Daisy and Greg chat about quick fixes for improving writing and the correlation between multiple choice questions and writing scores. 

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Daisy Christodoulou 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-q8yzn-10f06a3

Daisy Christodoulou was the second guest on this podcast back in 2020. Daisy returns in this episode to talk about writing with Greg Ashman. Daisy and Greg discuss comparative judgement, banal writing prompts, the limits of moderation and the contribution of a knowledge rich curriculum to writing. Along the way, Daisy and Greg chat about quick fixes for improving writing and the correlation between multiple choice questions and writing scores. 

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David C Geary

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gz4nb-10ca0b0

David C. Geary is Curators’ Distinguished Professor and Thomas Jefferson Fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. In this episode, he talks to Greg Ashman about his influential theory of evolutionary educational psychology that categorises knowledge as biologically primary or biologically secondary. Along the way, Dave and Greg discuss knowledge transmission in traditional societies, some common criticisms of the biologically primary/secondary distinction and both the artificality and importance of school.

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Paul Ayres

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3u4rp-1084852

Paul Ayres is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia. In this episode, Paul talks to Greg Ashman about his journey from classroom teacher in the UK to education professor in Australia. Along the way, Paul and Greg discuss models of human cognitive architecture, mirror neurons, embodied cognition, goal-free problems, what makes a Pythagoras problem difficult and measuring cognitive load. They also discuss the recent review of the Australian Curriculum and what we can do to break the cycle of bad ideas.

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Mandy Nayton

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-kdrqw-1066613

Mandy Nayton is the Chief Executive Officer of The Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation and President of AUSPELD, the Australian federation of SPELD Associations (SPELD is short for Specific Educational Learning Difficulties). In this episode, Mandy talks to Greg Ashman about her journey from governess on an outback station to where she is today. Along the way, Mandy and Greg discuss the factors that affect children’s engagement with education and the barriers presented by reading failure. They discuss the process of learning to read, vocabulary, morphology and etymology, before chatting about an upcoming researchED conference in Perth and looking to the future for evidence-based education.

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John Sweller

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3mk8g-102b2c7

John Sweller is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and is probably best know for his work on Cognitive Load Theory. He is also one of Greg Ashman’s PhD supervisors. In this episode, John talks to Greg about the development of Cognitive Load Theory, its implications and some of the common criticisms levelled at the theory. Along the way, they discuss biologically primary and biologically secondary knowledge as well as their thoughts on the draft new Australian Curriculum.

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Jenny Donovan

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-nmsqp-1017da0

Dr Jenny Donovan is head of the newly formed Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). Prior to that Jenny has had an influential career in education which has included the founding of the Centre for Education Statistics (CESE) in New South Wales, Australia. In this episode, Jenny talks to Greg Ashman about her journey into education, the work of CESE, including its review of Reading Recovery and its publication of resources on cognitive load theory. Jenny and Greg then discuss AERO and its plans for the future.

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