Understanding How We Learn – Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki and Oliver Caviglioli – A Review

What goes on in the mind when learning? This is one of the perennial educational questions that has bamboozled philosophers and psychologists for generations. Although I don’t think that cognitive science is even partly able to answer it, I think it is a field of research that educators ought to have some knowledge of, since… Continue reading Understanding How We Learn – Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki and Oliver Caviglioli – A Review

How Learning Happens – Kirschner & Hendrick – A Review

Sometimes you read books that change things. This book about seminal works is seminal in itself. It might be assumed it is just no more than a summary of important psychological research for teachers organised nicely and illustrated in a sophisticated way. It would be good and worth your money if it was just that.… Continue reading How Learning Happens – Kirschner & Hendrick – A Review

The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

I’ve been reading about Knowledge Organisers for over a year now. I have always been intrigued as to how they might be properly embedded in the everyday practice of primary teachers. In this post, I want to outline what a knowledge organiser is and why they are worth using...there's a link to one of my… Continue reading The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday

My last post showed the research base for the benefits of the testing effect, more appropriately referred to as ‘retrieval practice’. There is a vast wealth of resources now available to teachers that can aid their use of retrieval practice in the classroom. Building on a recent paper by Firth et al (2017), here are… Continue reading 6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday

Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

The words ‘assess’, ‘test’, ‘exam’ and ‘quiz’ often have negative connotations to us as teachers and most certainly for our pupils. They can be stressful, anxiety provoking and feeljudgmental. However, in my last post, I ended with this: …Ebbinghaus (1885/1964) claimed that we can ‘interrupt’ forgetting by recalling information over time, spacing our retrieval out… Continue reading Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

Why do our pupils forget what we teach them?

In the classroom, as a teacher, forgetting can be particularly confusing. It’s a conundrum when pupils can vividly remember the visitor who came in Year 3 with weird Viking swords, yet three years on, they can’t remember the answer to 7 x 8 to complete a column multiplication calculation.