Dylan Wiliam – The Classroom Experiment

This is a two part series called The Classroom Experiment. Each video is an hour. I realise this is a large amount of time and that the end of term 2 is not the best time to watch them. However I highly recommend these videos. So if you do choose to watch them you can probably count them towards your time for week 10 term 4. You may wish to download the videos from You Tube and watch them in smaller chunks over a longer period of time. Perhaps through term 3?

One of the purposes of this blog is to share educational theory and research. I think that these two videos are a valuable and give the opportunity to view practical educational ideas (at least one of which is being implemented already at PBAS by Ed – coloured cups).

In this two-part series education expert Professor Dylan Wiliam sets up an experimental school classroom. For one term, he takes over a Year 8 class to test simple ideas that he believes could improve the quality of our children’s education. The concepts and ideas presented have implications from R-12.

Some of the concepts/issues in the experiment include:

  • No hands up – names on lollipop sticks.
  • Coloured cups.
  • Use of mini white boards (1 per student) – everyones in the spotlight/instant student response system (low tech version).
  • Removing grades from work. To help students focus on the comments on their work. High achieving students struggled with this. Whay do we need to give students grades?
  • Student feedback to teachers. Student observers.
  • Daily exercise – 10 minutes in the morning to prepare students for learning.
  • The second episode shows some good stuff about high achieving girls and making mistakes and their struggle with this.
  • Secret Student – improving student behaviour through peer pressure. The class earns points through positive behaviour. A Secret Student is picked each day (students don’t know who). The Secret Student for that day is the only one that can earn the points through behaving in a positive way.

The videos can also be found on the Pedagogy page under TfEL Domain 2.

Episode 1

Episode 2

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