Enhancing worked examples with self-explanation

When using worked examples, it’s really easy to assume that students are engaging with them without making sure that they really are. Reading about using worked examples recently, I came across the self-explanation effect. Although mentioned in Dunlosky’s (2013) ‘Strengthening the Student Toolbox’ (see also, Dunlosky et al. (2013)), alongside interleaving, as a "strategy with … Continue reading Enhancing worked examples with self-explanation

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Consistency, autonomy, and when to ‘Let it go!’

I’m walking around my department during a free period. Two classes are learning about electrolysis. They’re learning the same content, but the lessons look quite different. Does this matter?* I’m walking around my department during a free period. I see students throwing glue sticks in two classrooms. One teacher doesn’t appear to notice them and … Continue reading Consistency, autonomy, and when to ‘Let it go!’

Assessment, the beginning or the end?

I’ve been reading a lot about assessment recently, particularly formative assessment, and it has made me reconsider some of the focus of all the curriculum work since Curriculum became a thing. I have been, and still am, a convinced proponent of a knowledge rich curriculum. I believe that we should be teaching students powerful knowledge … Continue reading Assessment, the beginning or the end?

Does that make sense? Breaking bad habits

I’ve recently found myself noticing bad habits. My bad habits. Bad teacher habits. Things I know aren’t good practice, but which I do anyway. And I keep doing them even after I’ve become aware of them and thought, “I must stop doing that”. I guess that’s the problem with habits! I started thinking more about … Continue reading Does that make sense? Breaking bad habits

Part 3: Developing and Deploying Subject Knowledge

Parts 1 and 2 of this series discussed the knowledge teachers need - knowledge of the curriculum and ‘teacher knowledge’, or PCK - and the importance of a knowledge rich curriculum. Here, we consider how to develop this knowledge and apply it in planning and teaching. What is subject knowledge? Subject knowledge is often broken … Continue reading Part 3: Developing and Deploying Subject Knowledge

Subject Knowledge and a Knowledge Rich Curriculum – Part 1: What knowledge do teachers need?

In a few week’s time I will be leading a session with trainee teachers introducing teacher subject knowledge and a knowledge rich curriculum. Reviewing my notes from a similar session last year, I thought it might be helpful in refreshing my thoughts to write a summary which has ended up as this series of posts. … Continue reading Subject Knowledge and a Knowledge Rich Curriculum – Part 1: What knowledge do teachers need?