Posted in Teaching and Learning

Left or Right?

I love this example of the importance of learning from our mistakes and not making excuses…

I KNOW my left from my right, but during my recent driving lessons I frequently got it wrong.

To help me I created a little coping strategy.  When I received a direction I would say the direction back to the instructor, and then say either just “left” or “left, right” and I would make an L shape with my left hand on the wheel so I could see which way was left.

Why did I do this?

Apparently context is king, and transfer of learning is hard.

I happened across this blog this morning:

The air traffic controller paradox

It makes interesting reading.  The author has backed up most of his points with researched evidence – but I think he makes a bit of a leap at the end when equates 21st century skills and growth mindset to “Brain Training” games.

One of my pet peeves at home is the “independent learning” homework that my daughter is set by her primary teachers.

She is often set research tasks that have no link to work studied or being studied in class. She has little prior knowledge of the topic so her research is shallow and very often she doesn’t understand the text that she is copying into her Learning Log.

A recent homework where she had to compare Trump to Clinton produced this gem (marked with a tick by her teacher):


My daughter’s lack of general knowledge about Trump and Clinton meant she (and obviously her teacher) didn’t identify this as wrong.

We’ve recently started to try and support her by doing comprehension exercises.  I’d have thought that comprehension would be a good transferrable skill.  However as we hit different texts she is either held back back lack of understanding of key vocabulary or by not knowing enough about the topic that the text is about*.


It re-enforces my need to focus on vocab (via or

I think I will plan to do more comprehension in Computer Science.  Any good strategies for this English Teachers?

A quick google and I find this:  Do they look any good?

*  Today’s comprehension text was about children’s use of handheld devices, exercise and why should PE teachers should use technology in lessons to develop a more holistic** approach to education.

** My Daughter didn’t know what Holistic meant.


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