A million hits…

Embed from Getty Images

Thank you to all of you for clicking on this blog, even if it was only to pass the time while sitting on the toilet. I am glad to have been a momentary distraction.

Back in 2015, I closed my old websofsubstance blog as it ticked over 200,000 hits and I really thought it was game over. However, I took the advice of @oldandrewuk and just kept going. I have learnt so much as part of this process – I have learnt so much from all of you lovely people – and I can only encourage other teachers to blog. Yes, there is unpleasantness at times from those who don’t like what I say, but the rewards outweigh the costs, in my opinion.

My top five blog posts, in ascending order of the number of hits, are as follows:

5. Where is the evidence to support differentiation?

I have written a great deal on differentiation over the years but this is my most popular post on the topic. Essentially, differentiation as it is usually conceived, lacks supporting evidence. However, the term is so broad that it can cover both good and bad practice. We need better words.

4. Can teaching be given a score?

For a long time, this was my most popular post. It contains the first outing for a graphic that, if not quite viral, has found its way into a number of different cracks and crevices, including the second edition of Dylan Wiliam’s book, Embedded Formative Assessment.

3. What is explicit instruction?

In this piece I explain that explicit teaching is not lecturing, it is a whole system that includes the gradual release of responsibility to the student.

2. Cognitive Load Theory – “the single most important thing for teachers to know”

Here, I jumped on a tweet by Dylan Wiliam to post some useful resources for anyone interested in learning about cognitive load theory. It probably needs updating.

1. Four ways cognitive load theory has changed my teaching

Fittingly, my post popular post also deals with cognitive load theory, the subject of my PhD research. This post is specifically about using practical applications of the theory in class and it seems to have struck a chord.

One thing I notice is that three of my top five posts have questions for titles – note that well young Padawan – while the other two about about cognitive load theory. I have also posted a lot about PISA data but none of these make it into the top five, perhaps because there are so many posts and none of them particularly stand out.

Should I stop now I’ve hit a million hits?

No, I think I’ll just keep going…


10 thoughts on “A million hits…

  1. Sarah G says:

    Yes, keep going. We need people who can question the system and can communicate ideas clearly. You have a knack for both.

  2. Keep going Greg- the word is getting out, through your blog, and through David Didau, Tom Bennett et al that we teachers won’t settle for ‘we know best, now run along and differentiate’ anymore.

  3. Janita Cunnington says:

    Here’s to the next million! I’ve been following your blog ever since it was websofsubstance, and have found that you can always be relied on to have something insightful, fair and lucid to say.

    So I’m wondering what comment you would make about an interview with Sugata Mitra reported in the latest New Scientist magazine (3 November 2018). Its headline is “Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone!” and Mitra goes on to explain that in “1999 he installed a computer in a slum in New Delhi and then walked away. . . In the decades since the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment, he has found that groups of children ages 8 to 12, left alone with the internet, can teach themselves even technical subjects such as evolutionary biology to a level several years ahead on their school age. In 2013 he won a $1 million TED prize to help his work.”

    He set up labs in seven schools — five in India and two in England — and says his work demonstrated that children learn better when they teach themselves. Quote: “We have got all the data now, and there is a definite, measurable improvement in reading comprehension over and above what would be expected.”

    I don’t like to see claims like this go unchallenged in such a respected and widely read magazine. Any chance that you could reply to it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.