A blogger all teachers should be following: @greg_ashman

April 27, 2017

Greg Ashman – scourge of education’s charlatans

I may be preaching to the converted here, but after one of my blogposts last week declared war on Australia, I thought I’d draw your attention to something great from that part of the world. Every so often somebody asks me about decent research on how to teach maths, and every time I realise how little I really know about what’s good (rather than what’s terrible in maths education), and I have to redirect them to a particular antipodean blogger.

Greg Ashman is a teacher from England, who is now teaching maths in Australia, while also studying for a PhD in education. His studies are focused on the psychology of learning, and his blog is a running commentary of what is going on in education (here, and in Australia and around the world) and how it relates to what we actually know about how we learn and what works in teaching. He is particularly strong on how best to teach mathematics, although his blog also discusses science teaching, literacy teaching and many other topics related to education. He has a particular commitment to exposing shoddy research and “experts” who give advice contradicted by the evidence. He often looks at the evidence from psychology, empirical studies and international data, but his writing is aimed at teachers rather than academics. His blog provides insight into what does or does not work in the classroom, and is particularly useful if you teach maths. So if you want to keep up with the best in evidence based education blogging, his blog, Filling The Pail, can be found here.

Anyway, if my recommendation is not enough, let me also point out what others have said about Filling The Pail.

Professor Rob Coe, the Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University included it as on of his top ten blogs “that regularly present sound educational research and connect it with school practice” in his post on What is Worth Reading for Teachers Interested in Research?

Dylan Wiliam, the British educationalist and Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education, was asked for his top 3 online resources for teachers and he made this recommendation:

…I suggest the Twitter feed or the blogs of a British teacher who now lives in Australia called Greg Ashman. …he’s doing some very interesting work with people like John Sweller in Australia. … he’s looking at  the role of knowledge in teaching mathematics; the role of automaticity, and things like that. His posts,… go under the heading of Filling The Pail because he’s resisting the idea that education is not filling a pail, it’s lighting fires or whatever… He’s actually saying knowledge is a really important part of maths so you need to get good at that. So I recommend his website or his blog, [it] is a very provocative source of ideas in maths teaching specifically.

Daisy Christodoulou, who is Head of Assessment at Ark Schools was also asked for her “Big Three” and said:

I’m going to go for Greg Ashman’s blog… Greg’s really prolific and he has got so many pieces up there that I often just send round to people as an explanation of a particular issue. So it’s a really, really great resource that I use…  quite a lot for myself; just to give myself an insight into things, and to send to others too. So that would be a good one.

Please go to Greg’s blog (here), and have a look. He can be found on Twitter as @greg_ashman


One comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

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