David Didau

Writer

Session

Making Kids Cleverer: A manifesto for closing the advantage gap

It is an uncomfortable fact that the factor most likely to influence student’s academic outcomes is their socio-economic profile. Added to this, school systems tend to be systematically (although unintentionally) biased in favour of more advantaged children meaning that children from less advantaged backgrounds find it harder to tap into what schools offer. It doesn’t have to be this way. Research into intelligence and IQ reveals that the more intelligent an individual is, the more likely they are to be happy, healthy, safe and financially secure. If schools can do more to raise children’s intelligence – thereby increasing the likelihood that they live happy, productive lives – then of course they should. One straightforward way to increase intelligence is to ensure the all children know more. No one can think about something they don’t know and the more you know about a subject, the more interesting the thoughts you can have about it. Arguably the most important difference between students is the quantity and quality of what they know and this talk will explore how knowledge improves thought and various ways that schools and teachers can improve all students’ intellectual capabilities.

Bio

The author of several books on education, David Didau is a prominent and often provocative commentator on social media. David taught in English schools for 15 years before becoming a full-time writer, speaker and consultant. His blog, The Learning Spy, is one of the most influential education blogs in the UK, and he has written a series of books that challenge our assumptions such as, What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong?, What Every Teacher Needs To Know About Psychology and Making Kids Cleverer.

Twitter: @DavidDidau

Website: www.learningspy.co.uk

Archive

Haninge 2019

How to get the best out of teachers

Do teachers thrive most when given trust or when held to account? This session explores how a judicious balance of both can achieve the best results

Scandinavia 2018

What if everything you knew about mindsets & resilience was wrong?

A critique of popular conceptions of growth mindset and resilience, and how school based intervention programmes might be causing more problems than they’re solving.

National Conference 2018

Making Kids Cleverer

An explanation of
– why intelligence matters
– how we can increase children’s intelligence
– what schools need to do

Scandinavia 2017

What teachers need to know about memory
An explanation of the science of long term and working memory and its implications for the classroom.

English & MFL 2017

The importance of reading fluency

An exploration of why reading fluency plays such an important part in determining students’ likely success, some thoughts on what might prevent students from achieving fluency and a few ideas on what to to about this problem.

Amsterdam 2017

Poor Proxies for Learning: Looking good isn’t the same as being good

Most teachers reckon they know learning when they see it. Trouble is, learning is invisible. All we see are proxies and much of what children do in lessons are poor proxies for learning. This session explores why much of what is commonly enacted in classrooms can, contrary to our intuitions, actually end up undermining learning, and offers some ideas for designing teaching sequences around better proxies.

Washington DC 2016

Poor Proxies for Learning: Looking good isn’t the same as being good

Most teachers reckon they know learning when they see it. Trouble is, learning is invisible. All we see are proxies and much of what children do in lessons are poor proxies for learning. This session explores why much of what is commonly enacted in classrooms can, contrary to our intuitions, actually end up undermining learning, and offers some ideas for designing teaching sequences around better proxies.

Download the slides (ppt)

National Conference 2016

The Trouble with Transfer – Can we get students to transfer learning between contexts? A review of the evidence and some practical classroom applications.

Blog post on The Learning Spy

Download the slides (pages document)