I learnt my seven times table at school. I mean I really learnt it. I practiced at home and repeated it, forwards and backwards, until the questions and answers seemed to appear in my head at the same time. I didn’t do this for any other times table. For some reason, I was possessed with a sudden and passing desire to learn this.

Years later, I  find myself working as an educational developer  in UK higher education  and I’m still thinking about my seven times table. Is learning that sequence of numbers the same as learning how to ride a bike, or how to calculate the area of a circle, or how to diagnose a sick dog? In essence, what is happening in my brain when I learn something? And is it the same for everybody else?

To help me answer some of these questions, in 2013 I will examine twelve interesting concepts in educational theory, using the key texts as a starting point for some serious educational  naval-gazing. If you would like to join in, please do.

Chris Mitchell


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