Neuroscience of habits vs. EYFS: even more ways to disadvantage the disadvantaged child

The Quirky Teacher

This blog post goes beyond the usual consideration of, for example, cognitive load theory, or the need for explicit instruction and retrieval practice in reception year and into the realms of the neuroscience of habits. I think that ‘best practice’ in EYFS does not consider this aspect of neuroscience. Yet!

It’s been a privilege this year to oversee the education of children in reception year and if I’m honest, I certainly couldn’t do as good a job as our current reception year teachers – the experience has given me real food for thought as I have dwelled on the eternal conflicts that could be summarised in the following questions:

  • These [disadvantaged] children need to be taught, by adults, what they do not know, and they need to be encouraged to practice what they have been taught in order to commit knowledge to long term memory – why is…

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