The researchED Guide to Education Myths.

Edited by Craig Barton and Tom Bennett.

John Catt Educational Ltd. 2019.

  • First Published: 8 Jul 2019
  • ISBN: 9781912906390
ResearchEd, education myths, teacherofsci, review

If you’ve been teaching for a while you will have seen various pedagogical fads and theories come and go. Some may have seemed useful and some, well, less so (I’m being diplomatic).

Annoyingly though, there are lots of practices that are just taken as gospel, when in fact, like the Lock Ness Monster, are mythical. Finally, there is a book, written by experts, that takes these myths and punches them in the face till they run away screaming for their mum.

Are you ready to explore the labyrinth?

It’s time for these myths to disapear like Atlantis!

What is researchED?

Tom Bennett. Founder and Director of researchED

Founded by Tom Bennett in 2013, researchEd is a global, “grassroots education movement”. Their goals include bridging the gap between education research and practice, helping teachers to base their practice on evidence. They achieve this by improving the quality of education research. You can find out more about them at researched.org.uk

The researchED Series.

The researchED series is made up of several editions (of which this is the first) that tackle the most important topics in education. All of which are short, accessible and punchy, perfect for any teacher wanting the skinny on an issue without any fluff and nonsense.

Ok, now time to bust some myths!

The researchED Guide to Education Myths.

There’s no messing about when it comes to this book. Tom Bennett’s foreword sets the tone, he lays out why educational myths need to be challenged and hints at why, as a community of professional educators, we need to look at evidence rather than doing things in a certain way because “that’s what we do in this school”.

Craig Barton.

Craig Barton.

Author and Maths teacher, Craig Barton edits this book with aplomb. His writing style is engaging and often witty while carrying a tone of honesty. He introduces the book by taking some “truths” from his own career and explains how he realised they were probably myths and how he has adopted a more scientific method of testing out his own new practices.

The Myth Busters.

The remaining 81 pages of this great book are divided up into 8 sections, each written by some education heavyweights such as Doug Lemov (author of the brilliant Teach Like a Champion), Tom Sherrington (Author of Rosenshine’s Principles in Action), Mark Esner, Clare Sealy, Andrew Old, Harry Fletcher-Wood, Greg Ashman and Robert and Elizabeth Bjork. Each stepping into the ring with a different education myth.

Mark Esner starts the ball rolling by discussing the origins of education myths and what we can learn from past mistakes before asking if a whole new suite of myths could be born out well-founded ideas.

What follows is nothing short of a masterclass.

Each section deals with their chosen myth with a balanced yet strong argument. You might not agree with all of them but you will come away with a new perspective. One where you examine your teaching practice and ask yourself “does this thing I do actually work”.

In my favourite section, Doug Lemov expertly takes on technology in schools. I found myself nodding vigorously and giggling like a wild hyena. I imagine Lemov writes with a smile on his face and chuckles to himself as he drops another witty takedown (I have no evidence of this, it may be a myth…oops!).

The book closes with a section so exquisite you could serve it with caviar!

Harry Fletcher-Wood completes the book with a section titled “Don’t shoot the mythbuster”. Working on the assumption that you will now feel the compulsion to enlighten those educators around you, Fletcher-Wood explains the best tactics to use when trying to convince people to change their beliefs and practice.

Conclusion.

The researchED Guide to Education Myths is 100 pages of excellence. The sections are short enough to read while waiting for your printing or during a rare trip to the bathroom. It should be prescribed to all teachers!

Since reading it (twice), I have been asking some serious questions of my own teaching practice and looking at ways of improving what I do.

Should you read it? Hell yeah!

As educators, we have a responsibility to our students. Sometimes looking in the mirror can be a difficult task but we should reflect and evolve. This book will help you do it. Get one in your teaching bag immediately.

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More Reviews of Great Educational Books.

The researchEd Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction.

REVIEW: Teaching for Mastery by Mark McCourt.

Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington

Dual Coding with Teachers by Oliver Caviglioli