How does cognitive load theory affect teachers?

We talk a lot about the cognitive load that we impose on students and how to get the most out of them without overloading. In this blog, Matt examines how he felt overloaded himself as he worked his way through a difficult explanation – it’s so important that we take this into account so thatContinue reading “How does cognitive load theory affect teachers?”

How can I use explicit instruction to teach declarative knowledge?

Much of the teaching we do is of declarative knowledge: facts and ideas like what a giant ionic lattice is, or the parts of the EM spectrum or reflex arcs. Matt Perks has made many valuable contributions to CogSciSci and last year wrote a couple of really good blogs about common pitfalls teachers make whenContinue reading “How can I use explicit instruction to teach declarative knowledge?”

How does a good night’s sleep affect student retention?

We are all probably worried that our students don’t get enough sleep. We are also probably worried that our students don’t remember as much stuff as we would like them to. In this blog, Andrew Watson looks at a simple experiment which tested the relationship between spaced practice and getting enough sleep. Definitely one toContinue reading “How does a good night’s sleep affect student retention?”

Why do my students find it so hard to apply their knowledge?

Application of knowledge to another context is one of the holy grails of teaching – it means that your students can take what they have learnt in your classroom beyond the confines of those walls. In cognitive science literature, this is referred to as transfer, and is by now a well-researched concept. In this blog,Continue reading “Why do my students find it so hard to apply their knowledge?”

An Open Letter to NQT Mentors and School Leaders about Science Teacher retention

Dom Shibli is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire for Secondary Science (@ShibliDom) This is usually an exciting time of year for me as the student teachers complete their training and start thinking about their ‘proper jobs’ in July or September. I derive a huge amount of satisfaction knowing that they are inContinue reading “An Open Letter to NQT Mentors and School Leaders about Science Teacher retention”

To the newly qualified science teacher: what I wish I’d known

Starting your first year of teaching is daunting at the best of times, even more so when your PGCE year has been disturbed as in this year. In this post, a number of CogSciSci regulars share the tips and tricks they wish that they had known when they were first starting out. Topics covered areContinue reading “To the newly qualified science teacher: what I wish I’d known”

Book Review: Teachers vs Tech

Francesca Timms is a Science Lead Practitioner for a multi-academy trust on the South Coast with an interest in applying educational research in the classroom. You can follow her on Twitter here. Given the current climate, it is more important than ever to be thinking critically about the place of educational technology (ed-tech) within scienceContinue reading “Book Review: Teachers vs Tech”

Guest post: Completing a #CogSciSci module (and lesson planning)

Abby Camilleri (@CamilleriMiss) is a Physics teacher at St Anne’s Academy in Middleton. She’s recently completed the (totally free!) CogSciSci Introduction to Cognitive Science module. Having submitted her end of module task (“Describe how you have used the characteristics of Long Term Memory and Working Memory to plan a lesson”) we asked Abby if she’d beContinue reading “Guest post: Completing a #CogSciSci module (and lesson planning)”

Embedding Retrieval Throughout Your Teaching

This is the fourth blog in the CogSciSci symposium on retrieval practice in the classroom, following on from contibutions from Adam Boxer (How to not screw up retrieval practice) and Damien Benney (Retrieval practice, retrieval roulette, schema, spacing and even a nod to Rosenshine) You should read the introduction to this symposium here before reading thisContinue reading “Embedding Retrieval Throughout Your Teaching”

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