Three Applications of Cognitive Science

Joe Kirby's blog

Here’s the second part of what I said yesterday at the ResearchEd event near Birmingham.

From a hundred years of research, there are three deceptively simple insights that when applied well in the classroom, have very powerful effects. They are not quick wins, silver bullets or revolutionary innovations. Instead, they offer something more modest: a chance to focus our teaching and help pupils remember what they’re learning. And expert teachers have been doing them since time immemorial.

Here they are in three words: examples, practice and quizzes. Worked examples, extended practice and frequent quizzes are much-underestimated and under-valued, but there’s a huge volume of scientific research behind them.


Worked examples


Intuitively, using examples makes sense. Any time we learn an abstract concept, the mind yearns for concrete examples. For instance, when I was learning recently about the concept of reliability in assessment, I struggled to grasp it until I…

View original post 1,222 more words


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