On Liberty EP80 We must follow the educational science

We welcome CIS contributor and University of NSW academic, Emeritus Professor John Sweller. Author of the recent CIS papers: Why Inquiry-based Approaches Harm Students’ Learning and Some Critical Thoughts about Critical and Creative Thinking. In his recent paper, he writes that the science on learning is settled and that schools must reflect this.

Professor Sweller argues, those who write curriculum, train teachers, and make policy often don’t know or follow the educational science. Resulting in evidence-free teaching practices being widely used, curriculums teaching things that are non-teachable, and students assessed on skills that can’t be properly measured. For decades, Sweller’s research has focused on understanding the process of how we learn, with wide implications for education policy and practice.

What does human evolution have to do with classroom learning? Why are there some things we learn easily and others that are much harder to learn? Do we learn better when we teach ourselves or when we have someone teach us? How can we promote creativity and critical thinking? What are the common misconceptions that dominate the educational establishment?