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Is cognitive science destined to mutate?

A Common Biologist

Education is fickle. In a desperate attempt to improve outcomes, and with the added pressures of crippling accountability and soaring workload, schools are quick to latch on to the latest edu-fad and take aim with its supposed magic bullet.

More often than not, this results in yet more work for those of us at the chalkface as teachers dutifully implement a whole school strategy that, if you’re lucky, might have a passing resemblance to the underlying principles it was based on. But there’s no time to explore the evidence behind it so we all get on with the how and don’t worry about the why and inevitably, inexorably it fizzles out over the course of the year to lay dormant, waiting for its chance to reinvent itself and rise again.

Dylan Wiliam coined the term “lethal mutation” in his book, Embedded Formative Assessment (2011) to describe this bastardisation of sound…

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