Best Practice

Using cognitive science to improve classroom practice

What is cognitive science and cognitive load theory? Do you need to use it when you teach? Exactly how do you use it when you teach? Dr Kelly Woodford-Richens offers a practical overview of cognitive science in practice

 

Cognitive science is becoming the cornerstone for understanding how students learn and is revolutionising the way we are teaching pupils, both in primary and secondary.

It has also underpinned the development of the new Ofsted frameworks for schools, initial teacher training providers and, from this September, the Early Career Framework. And rightly so: the techniques informed by cognitive science are evidence-based and proven.

Some schools are just kick-starting their incorporation of cognitive load theory (Sweller, 1988) into their teaching and learning visions, whereas other schools have embedded the principles fully.

So, here are some key questions to consider: What is cognitive science and cognitive load theory? Do you need to use it when you teach? Exactly how do you use it when you teach?

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