Choice Architecture In Schools

Slide show here.


Red Teaming For Schools

The definition of “red teaming” varies depending on the organization doing it, but basically it consists of forming a group to find holes in the strategy or plan that’s under discussion. The idea comes from military strategies that involve thinking like the enemy and trying to work out a way to defeat one’s own army. … Continue reading Red Teaming For Schools

Behavioural Economics, Human Nature, Teenage Nature

“This theory-induced blindness now strikes nearly everyone who receives a PhD in economics. The economics training the students receive provides enormous insights into the behaviour of Econs, but at the expense of losing common-sense intuition about human nature and social interactions. Graduates no longer realise that they live in a world populated by Humans.” Misbehaving: … Continue reading Behavioural Economics, Human Nature, Teenage Nature


Two Quotes from The Godfather: Bonasera: Let them suffer then, as she suffers. How much shall I pay you? Don Corleone: [shakes his head ruefully] Bonasera, Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, then that scum that ruined your daughter would be … Continue reading DOES EDUCATION NEED “THE GODFATHER” – SOCIAL OR MARKET NORMS?

We Talk About 21st Century Learning While Looking In The Rearview Mirror!

Rossleigh's Education Blog

Schools have always been under-rated! Politicians and some media outlets like to concentrate on the problems while ignoring the fact that they’ve educated vast numbers of people. Yes, there is room for improvement, but no the occasional spelling mistake does not make a person “functionally illiterate”!

So, in a profession where one is constantly given harsh feedback – forget the media, think Year 8s on a Friday afternoon – it’s only natural that when teachers are presented with the “new, improved” model of education called 21st Century learning that there’s a certain amount of cynicism. Of course, some teachers will point to the distractions of technology and suggest that it’s just being pushed by people who love their toys and gadgets, while others will complain that they don’t have the capacity to embrace it due to poor resourcing and Internet access. When concepts such as “20% time”* are suggested, some…

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Rossleigh's Education Blog

Choice Architecture 


Nudging Your Students Toward Success

“You want to nudge people into socially desirable behaviour, do not, by any means, let them know that their current actions are better than the social norm.”

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness  by Richard H. Thaler and Cass Sunstein

“Today, as you go through your day, notice how many times people have tweaked the environment to shape your behavior. Traffic engineers wanted you to drive in a predictable, orderly way, so they painted lane markers on the roads and installed stoplights and road signs. Grocery store managers wanted you to spend more time in their store, so they positioned the milk coolers all the way at the back. Your boss’s boss wanted to encourage more collaboration among employees, so she approved an “open floor plan” layout with no cubicles or dividers. The bank was tired of your leaving…

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Book Review: “Smarter, Faster, Better ” by Charles Duhigg

Rossleigh's Education Blog

  • “Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed. Scientists have found that people can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings. To motivate ourselves, we must feel like we are in control.” From Smarter, Faster, Better

Ok, for those in Australia, the title of Charles Duhigg’s latest book, “Smarter, Faster, Better” may remind them of the Liberal Party’s  slogan for the NBN, “Fast Affordable Sooner”, but don’t let that put you off.

Duhigg, who also wrote “The Power of Habit”, outlines several way that we can boost our productivity and one of the things I found more refreshing about the book is when he actually describes some of his own flaws and difficulties in managing his own…

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Chaucer Or Chips

Rossleigh's Education Blog

There are two sorts of people in the world, those who divide everything into two categories and those who don’t. Personally, I’ve always found it rather useful to remember the words of George E. P. Box who said: “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful”.  So I’m going to ask you to think about schools for a moment and do a massive oversimplification.

Take a particular subject or topic and categorise it according to the following question: Is it focused on the past or the future?

Yes, I’m sure that in some cases it’s possible to argue either way, but what’s the main thrust of the learning? In learning about scientific discoveries, for example, is it looking at them as a piece of history or is it about their importance going forward? Is science presented as a neat collection of what we already know, or is it shown to be a messy, inefficient process of…

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Why Laptops Should Be Banned… Along With Calculators and The Ballpoint Pen

Rossleigh's Education Blog

There was an article about Sydney Grammar School banning laptops in the classroom, quoting the principal as saying. ‘I think when people come to write the history of this period in education … this investment in classroom technology is going to be seen as a huge fraud.’

And a few weeks ago we were told by a speaker from the OECD that technology in schools was “doing more harm than good”. This was on the basis of an OECD report which found that some countries have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in results for reading, mathematics or science, in spite of investing large amounts into technology.

Now when I was in primary school, after Year 3, we used pen and ink. I’ve noticed that they now use biros. I wonder  – when schools made the switch from using inkwells – if there were any studies that told us that there was no…

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Creative Commons (Ok, It’s Not Clickbait, but if you don’t know what it is, you probably should read this!)

Rossleigh's Education Blog


Widespread adoption of the share-friendly copyright license known as Creative Commons encourages people to legally allow their own images, text, or music to be used and improved by others without the need for additional permission. In other words, sharing and sampling content is the new default. There were more than one billion instances of Creative Commons permissions in use in 2015.”

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

Basically, Creative Commons is a way for students to access things like music or images for use with their projects without breaching anyone’s copyright.

While schools are permitted to use certain things in relation to education, the rules surrounding copyright aren’t always clear and the subtleties aren’t always easy for a student (0r a teacher) to understand.

As the website tells us:

“Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and…

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