Making Kids Cleverer: A manifesto for closing the advantage gap

David Didau


It is an uncomfortable fact that the factor most likely to influence student’s academic outcomes is their socio-economic profile. Added to this, school systems tend to be systematically (although unintentionally) biased in favour of more advantaged children meaning that children from less advantaged backgrounds find it harder to tap into what schools offer. It doesn’t have to be this way. Research into intelligence and IQ reveals that the more intelligent an individual is, the more likely they are to be happy, healthy, safe and financially secure. If schools can do more to raise children’s intelligence – thereby increasing the likelihood that they live happy, productive lives – then of course they should. One straightforward way to increase intelligence is to ensure the all children know more. No one can think about something they don’t know and the more you know about a subject, the more interesting the thoughts you can have about it. Arguably the most important difference between students is the quantity and quality of what they know and this talk will explore how knowledge improves thought and various ways that schools and teachers can improve all students’ intellectual capabilities.



English Lead, author
Ormiston Academies Trust

David Didau is the English Lead at Ormiston Academies Trust. A prominent, often outspoken commentator on social media, his blog, The Learning Spy, is one of the most influential education blogs in the UK, and he has written a series of books that challenge our assumptions such as Making Kids Cleverer, Intelligent Accountability and Making Meaning in English.

Link to interview researchED NL 2020


Translated in Dutch (by Jan Tishauser):

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