Has The Psychology of Learning saved us?

Stepping Back a Little

All of us teaching today can recall a fair bit of Psychology in our teacher training. Most of this (‘obviously’) was to do with Developmental Psychology – general phases, patterns and trends in the ways that children in general seem to mature in their ways of processing and conceptualising information. By and large, I think we can agree that this focus has been useless to teachers. We get the (obvious) idea that we need to pitch things at an appropriate level for pupils, but beyond this, we are left with the uncertainty of being able to take what has been shown to be the ‘general trend’, and apply it with confidence to the ‘specific individual’.

As a consequence, the robust clarifications of Cognitive Psychology research have been a massive boost for the science of learning, giving us some genuinely concrete and generalizable insights which we can apply to every child.

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