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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?”

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”

A cognitive science primer

Many of us in the CogSciSci community spend a lot of time talking to other teachers about cognitive science and evidence based practice. A common topic of discussion in the forum is about different routes to introducing colleagues to a different way of conceptualising science education. Adam recently wrote an article for Education in ChemistryContinue reading “A cognitive science primer”

Assessment for Learning in Science

What does AfL in science look like? What are its defining characteristics? How is it different to AfL in any other subject? What difference does that make for improving and observing teaching in science? Almost two years ago, when CogSciSci was still embryonic, a number of our members ran an online symposium on Assessment forContinue reading “Assessment for Learning in Science”

What makes one question harder than another?

Assessing challenge and difficulty has to be at the forefront of our thoughts. How do we teach students in a way that makes the material easy enough to understand, but hard enough to promote and provoke meaningful and memorable thought in our students? This blog by Adam unpicks the “traditional” approach to questioning and challengeContinue reading “What makes one question harder than another?”

Book review: Visualising Powerful Knowledge to Develop the Expert Student

This post by Christian Moore Anderson explores the work of Ian Kinchin and how you can use concept networks as a tool to visualise student learning and schema-formation. We’d be really interested if anyone turned these kinds of maps into a classroom resource, so if you are inspired to do so please share with us!Continue reading “Book review: Visualising Powerful Knowledge to Develop the Expert Student”

Is science a foreign language?

This blog by CogSciSci editor Ian Taylor tackles one of the most intractable problems of teaching science: the sheer volume of new vocabulary we expect students to acquire. Drawing on a range of different evidence sources, Ian shows how if you approach science teaching in the same way that you would a foreign language yourContinue reading “Is science a foreign language?”