ResearchEd: cognitive science in the classroom

Joe Kirby's blog

This is the first half of a talk I’m giving today at the ResearchEd Birmingham event…

 Cognitive science might help us understand what works best in teaching and why

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Imagine this: a super-intelligent interstellar species discover planet earth and humankind.

The first question they ask is: ‘Have they discovered evolution yet?’ A major landmark of intelligent civilisation is understanding why we’re here: evolution by natural selection.

The next question they ask is this: ‘Have they discovered how intelligence works?’ A next major landmark of intelligent civilisation is understanding intelligence itself.

That’s what cognitive scientists do. They seek to understand how the mind learns.

Today I’d like to share three ways that cognitive science has made my teaching simpler and clearer.

What I found most confusing when I started teaching, was students not remembering things they’d learned. I hear this question in the staffroom all the time: ‘why don’t…

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