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Cleverlands: Inside the world’s best classrooms

I’ve been a skeptic of much PISA based policy tourism for a while. Back in 2012 I highlighted “The curious case of PISA and suicide” whereby no country seemed to outperform England in PISA without also having a higher suicide rate. More recently I’ve been somewhat obsessed with John Jerrim’s work showing that Asian country’s PISA performance is not quite as …

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Evidence and Judgment. Is Gove suffering from ‘Bad Faith’?

 “When… a military leader takes upon himself the responsibility for an attack… he choses to do it…  no doubt he acts under higher command, but its orders, which are more general, require interpretation… action presupposes that there is a plurality of possibilities.” Sartre, ‘Existentialism and Humanism’ p.35. Of all the stock phrases used by politicians …

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What The History of Forceps Can Teach Us About Academies

 For 130 years the Chamberlen family kept a secret which, had it been shared, would have prevented decades of untimely deaths.  In the late 1500s, Peter Chamberlen – a London-based French surgeon – developed the first tool for successfully extracting live infants otherwise obstructed during labour.  Chamerberlen’s solution – the forcep – looked like a …

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