Slides from ResearchEd2013: An Intro to The Touchpaper Problems

Presenting at yesterday’s ResearchEd2013 was a terrifying, thrilling, exciting experience. The day has already been encapsulated by others so I won’t tread that ground here (see Sam‘s and Debra’s blogs for more), but I can wholeheartedly say it was a unique experience and that the quality of thinking in education at present is inspiring.

That said, I think we must start pulling together what feels like very disparate strands of edu-research and one way to do this might be creating a list of 7 educational “problems” that we most need to solve.

These problems should be:

* Focused on cognitive or social development
* Require the solver to undercover ‘principles’ rather than just create an invention, and
* Have a defined end-point

It is hard to write problems like this. It’s really hard. But I think we should try.

At present I do have a list of 7 (two were mentioned in the talk – see below) but using feedback from this weekend, and the #touchpaper problems people have subsequently tweeted, I am going to hold on and release the list at the end of the week for further debate (it took Hilbert a year to write his, so these are only a first draft). I therefore encourage people to keep thinking and throughout the week notice if any problems you face fit this criteria – and let me know!

In the meantime, below are the slides and a handout of my talk:

Categories: Study of Education, UK Education Policy

12 replies


  1. ResearchED 2013: a Reading List | researchED 2013
  2. The limits and applicability of knowledge | Distant Ramblings on the Horizon
  3. ResearchEd 2013: My reflections | Eaglestone's Blog
  4. Asking the right questions | The NFER blog
  5. Releasing the TouchPaper Problems « Laura McInerney
  6. What did we learn from ResearchEd 2013? | Pragmatic Education
  7. TouchPaper Problem #1 – The Spelling of a 1000 Words « Laura McInerney
  8. What Happened at the TouchPaper Problem Party? « Laura McInerney
  9. Five observations on the TouchPaper problems party | Rebecca Allen
  10. Learning Lessons from Lesson Observations #rEDb | The Good Dr
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