The #EduBotch Project

The aim of the project is to foreground and remedy taught misconceptions that impede later learning. A more detailed explanation can be found here.


  1. An #EduBotch is an oversimplification of a concept that does not lead students on a path to deeper understanding, but in fact impedes the student’s progression;
  2. An #EduBotch stands apart from the prior teacher. It is not indicative of malpractice; it is a good faith attempt by a generalist to address a concept without full appreciation of its impact on later learning;
  3. The definition of an #EduBotch needs, in time, to be supported with a definition of the threshold concept that is at risk and a suggested alternative teaching strategy. This is so that we learn from our mistakes.

The success of the project is evidenced in:

  1. Constructive dialogue between key stages;
  2. The definition of threshold concepts in each subject;
  3. A bank of #EduBotches that are countered with recommended strategies for fruitful simplification.

This collaborative project is dependent on your suggestions, so please feel free to comment on existing entries, suggest additional threshold concepts or alternative teaching strategies. You can comment directly on the blog or tweet to me at @whatonomy using the hashtag #EduBotch.

The #EduBotch Bank

Last update:

7th January 2015

A message from @whatonomy:

This is the beginning of what I hope to be an exhaustive list of taught misconceptions. It is entirely dependent on your suggestions. So please tweet or comment with your #EduBotch, the concept that it undermines and a suggested alternative teaching strategy. You might also like to blog about your taught misconception and send me the link to include in the relevant section.

English/Literacy/Language Arts/English as an Additional Language

#EduBotch Threshold concept at risk Recommended alternative teaching strategies
A comma is a breathing space. Sentences are made up of clauses. Explicitly identify clauses. Get students to highlight clauses in unpunctuated examples and model punctuation.
Sentences cannot begin with ‘and’ or ‘but’. Suggestions needed. Suggestions needed.


#EduBotch Threshold concept at risk Recommended alternative teaching strategies
To multiply by 10, add a zero. Place value, especially tenths and hundreds. For example, students might mistakenly turn 1.3 into 1.30. Suggestions needed.

The Sciences

#EduBotch Threshold concept at risk Recommended alternative teaching strategies
Birds distinguished from animals. Bird and mammal are sub-categories of animals.  Take greater care when distinguishing categories pertinent to science.


Additional subjects will be added as your suggestions roll in.

If you have blogged about a taught misconception, please send me a link and I will add it to the relevant #EduBotch so that readers can find out more.

If you take issue with the identification of an #EduBotch, threshold concept or an alternative teaching strategy, please comment below with your suggested revision. This is a living document and one of my overriding aims is to foster fruitful dialogue.


3 thoughts on “#EduBotch

  1. Interesting: As a primary teacher with a wide and varied experience I find it astonishing that teachers are still saying ‘add a zero’ to multiply by ten. I trained 20 years ago and we were encouraged not to do that at that time and since. Could some of these misconceptions be coming from parents?
    However, one of my own personal bug bears is when teachers (and yes it is teachers this time) explain multiples as ‘it’s in the times table of that number’. Well that could be any number then couldn’t it since the times tables are 1 X x, 2 X x, 3 X x and so on…?
    I always like to know if I’m teaching something wrongly or ‘dumbing down’. Will follow this with interest…


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