Replied to The Meaning of Depth and Breadth in Education by Jenny Mackness (

Do McGilchrist’s ideas about breadth and depth have implications for education? They seem to offer the possibility of a different perspective on the meaning of breadth and depth. There will always need to be choices made about which subjects should be included in the curriculum, and whether and when students need to specialise in specific subjects. But perhaps thinking about breadth in terms of flexibility (i.e. flexibility of attention) instead of coverage, and thinking about depth in relation to the need for an appreciation of context offers an alternative perspective. Breadth and depth do not need to be opposed or even thought of in terms of balance. They are both integral to counteracting a view of the world which is dominated by the left-hemisphere’s perspective, a world which we see from the perspective of a spectator as a two-dimensional representation. Instead more focus on breadth and depth, as understood in McGilchrist’s terms, would encourage a view of the world as a connected whole, where everything is seen in context and there would be increased insight into the nature of complexity.

I remember having a conversation with someone once who argued that in order to have breadth you need to have depth in a particular area. Not necessarily because of the knowledge that it may bring, but the skills acquired through the process. What I find interesting through your discussion of McGilchrist’s work is that these ideas are often different to how we appreciate them.
Liked Close listening by Austin Kleon (

Though I didn’t become a professional musician or producer or recording engineer, I like to think that this kind of exercise — studying something you love in depth — is valuable no matter what the field or the genre. The results don’t matter. When you study something so closely, in so much depth, you learn what it is to really pay attention. And paying attention is the art that builds a more meaningful and creative life.

Listened Taking the time to be offline by Dean Pearman; Steve Brophy from Design and Play

In our first real episode for 2018, we revisit the importance of offline time and switching off. This is always a challenge when work is something you are incredibly passionate about. How do we develop good work habits when the lines are blurred so much? We explore the third space, a concept developed by Adam Fraser designed to help people transfer better between work and space. We once again circle back on time tracking and managing our time. We explore the value of what to measure when tracking time. Steve explains his tracking of interruptions and the use of reticular activation to intentionally manage his focus and habits. We talk about the books we read and those that just couldn’t bring ourselves to read (#blurredlines). This leads to a rich discussion on real evidence of learning and design thinking as a mental model. Student centred learning features as Dean explores his school’s new Inspire Me curriculum and the removal of the curriculum safety net.

Replied to Cows of the Future by Tom Barrett (Dialogic Learning Weekly #71)

Think of a topic outside of school that you have a deep understanding of. What are the signals that indicate you have a deep knowledge and understanding of that topic?

I find the idea of ‘deep Learning’ fascinating. I feel that deep learning is often when you know that you don’t know. Often when you start out on a new topic you get a little bit of knowledge and you think that you know it. However, this is not deep until you dig down and get to the point where you realise you can’t know and that your knowledge will always be limited.

Take for example my recent deep dive into Global2. I have worked with, written about and presented on WordPress. However the further I went the more I realised that there were so many nuances that I had never considered. This has been taken to a whole new level with my wonderings about the #IndieWeb.

I therefore find Fullan’s reference in A Rich Seam to deep learning being associated with learning goals problematic. Although such goals can guide the learning, i think deep learning is often directed by fuzzy goals.