Evidence-Based Education: Why Simple Strategies Are Often the Most Effective

I stood outside the other day in minus degrees in just a T-shirt and shorts.  When I got back in I spent the next 20 minutes coughing up my lungs.  Like a mug I’d been reading about the iceman Wim Hoff and how he spends three hours in an ice bath and now he’s going to live forever, cure depression, etc. 

Then I came across a population study in the Economist and felt the shame. For every 1 degree drop in temperature, roughly 1 percent more people will die. “Cold helps viruses. It inhibits immune systems, lets pathogens survive longer when airborne and leads people to congregate indoors.”  The cost of people not being able to afford heat will likely kill more than the war in Ukraine.

Years ago, some in education were seduced similarly by flashy, shiny new ideas (assertive mentoring? Learning styles? Performance related pay?) which sounded great but were evidentially unsound.  What really works in education is often a lot less exciting.

Keep your classrooms orderly.  Plan what you’re going to teach. Engage with training.  Give children feedback and check they can remember stuff regularly.