I have been reading a lot about the science of learning lately, in particular around cognitive science. This explains empirically what works in terms of memory, which obviously impacts learning. I have boiled it down to 6 key points that I think all teachers should be aware of.
- Learning is not the same as performance (Soderstrom and Bjork, 2015)
- Learning is a change in long-term memory (Kirschner et al, 2006)
- Learning is built upon prior knowledge (Willingham, 2006)
- Learning is effortful and requires spaced retrieval (Bjork, 2018)
- Memory is the residue of thought (Willingham, 2010)
- Working memory is limited (Sweller et al, 2011)
My plan is to incorporate these into the staff training programme for the next year, but I have not decided how best to go about this just yet.
Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab (2018) Research [ONLINE] Available at: https://bjorklab.psych.ucla.edu/research/. [Accessed 4 July 2018].
Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., and Clark, R. E. (2006) Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching, Educationsal Psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.
Soderstrom, N. C., and Bjork, R. A. (2015) Learning Versus Performance: An Integrative Review, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 176-199.
Sweller, J., Ayres, P., and Kalyuga, S. (2011) Cognitive Load Theory, Springer.
Willingham, D. T. (2006) How Knowledge Helps, American Educator, Spring.
Willingham, D. T. (2010) Why Don't Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What it Means for Schools, Jossey Bass.
I published the latest issue of our T&L Newsletter last week, which can be found here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RGSA7beQAJ0zDGl_78h2x2Akm3y1liwZ/view?usp=sharing). I have enjoyed putting this together, and staff seem to be looking at it. I print copies to leave in the staffroom for people to have a look at, as well as emailing it round to all staff.
I blogged about a series of lessons I did on Logarithms with my S4 class here.
I finally got round to updating my class website to include all the resources for the IGCSE course (http://classes.interactive-maths.com/igcse.html), so that students can use it in preparation for their mocks. For each unit I copy the objectives from our scheme of work, and link to a video for as many as I can. Then I include the work booklet that I print and give to all students, and the PowerPoint lessons, which include solutions to exercises, and the notes that students have to fill in on the work booklet.
I recently finished the book Make It Stick, and wrote a summary of the main ideas for our school T&L Blog (http://markhamtl.wixsite.com/teaching-learning/single-post/2018/07/11/Make-It-Stick).