SciTeachJC: Strengthening the Student Toolbox

26May14

A quick post to flag up a long-awaited #SciTeachJC I’ll be moderating in either a week or a fortnight. It was originally planned to be the week after half-term; for various reasons I’ll make the executive decision to postpone until Tuesday 10th June if there’s not enough time for those interested has a chance to read the paper.

We’ll be discussing a very topical article, about student strategies for recall and understanding, by John Dunlosky. It’s a 2013 article from American Educator and considers how to help our pupils realize that last-minute cramming is not the best approach.

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do you use these methods at the moment? Which one would you choose to adopt as the most significant improvement from your current position?
  2. Many students – and to an extent parents and colleagues – intuitively distrust the concept of distributed, spaced testing. How can we address this?
  3. How can we ensure students use explanations and links to previous material while revising to boost understanding and recall?
  4. Could we set up programmes of study that would demand/encourage gradual accumulation of knowledge? How does this approach contrast with the demands of the exam system?
Hopefully this will be shared and perhaps even copied to the SciTeachJC website – I’ll sort that once I’m near a proper keyboard again. Until then, I hope that colleagues will find this interesting enough to consider even during halfterm.
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