Curriculum Design and Spacing


Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum)

‘Spacing’ is a really useful way to improve learning and retention. Basically it means delaying before you re-study something. The opposite would be ‘blocking’, where a topic is learned over a period of a few weeks. This is a curriculum design issue as, often, teachers and departments design their curriculum around half-termly chunks.

This tends to mean that by the time, say, the class get to their mock GCSE-exam in a given subject the vast majority of pupils have little recall about the knowledge they ‘learnt’ in the first Autumn half term of year ten. Teachers then arrange extra classes after school, half term holiday catch-up classes, Easter cramming sessions, etc. Pupils are more stressed, as are their parents and teachers neglect their family and social life to squeeze a couple more percentage points from their charges.

Instead of learning and finishing an…

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