Cheat codes to intelligence: touchpaper#7

Joe Kirby

I’ve asked before why students don’t remember what they’ve learned: how we design instruction, the curriculum and assessment plays a large part.

On first discovering cognitive science, Kris Boulton said it was “like being given the cheat codes to intelligence”. The models of memory and the mind in seminal texts like Dan Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School, the models of how we learn and the insights for instruction: this research has a lot to offer teachers.


Touchpaper problem #7 is about retaining content in long-term memory. If cognitive scientists are correct, that ‘if nothing has been retained in long-term memory, nothing has been learned,’ this is a key issue for teachers.

Our team (Helene, Mark, Tim, Ben, Lucy, Jackie and I) tried in the touchpaper working party to turn what we know from cognitive science into what teachers can…

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