Teach For Long Term Learning By Activating Students’ Working Memory
In this course, Matt Bromley explores the second of his three steps of teaching for long-term learning: ensuring students think hard but efficiently about curriculum content in order to encode it into long-term memory. Matt argues, in order to learn, students must accept the challenge of hard work and this means pitching lessons in students’ struggle zones so that it is hard but achievable. Sometimes, in order to make students think, we must introduce desirable difficulties, artificial blocks and barriers that slow down students’ thinking, induce cognitive strain and therefore ensure information is actively processed. One effective means of pitching learning is to teach to the top. To help students focus on the curriculum content to be learned, we should make use of teacher explanations and modelling, as well as questioning and classroom discussion. But we must also help them to avoid cognitive overload by providing a means of thinking efficiently and cheating the limitations of working memory capacity. As well as being useful for individual CPD for teachers, this course could form the basis of whole-school INSET.
Matt Bromley has over twenty years’ experience in teaching and leadership including as headteacher, principal and MAT director of education. He is now a school improvement advisor, teacher-trainer, author and public speaker.