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Posts published in “Psychology”

Why expectations matter in the classroom (and how to set them right)


As the academic year is now in full swing, it is worth considering this quote from renowned educationalist, Bill Rogers: “you establish what you establish”.

What does this mean at the beginning of the year? Well, if you start establishing high expectations now, and reinforce them consistently throughout the school year, you’ll give your students the best chance of success. Let’s take a look at the research behind it – and what happens if you keep your expectations low as a teacher…

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How to make note taking a cognitive activity


Taking notes during lessons is a key part of student life. But how well do your students actually do it?

Beyond just keeping a record of what has been said, evidence suggests that the way students take notes can have a big impact on their learning. This blog explores exactly why that is the case, and what makes efficient note taking…

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How to help your staff be more research-engaged this year


The evidence-based revolution in teaching & learning is in full-swing. Visit pretty much any school in the country and you will be sure to find at the very least one member of staff thinking about how to weave areas such as Retrieval Practice, Spacing, Interleaving, cognitive science, Metacognition and Rosenshine’s Principles into their practice.

But is that enough to make the biggest impact on student learning? We often get asked what schools can do to help encourage their staff to become more research-engaged which, unfortunately, can be a real challenge. If only it was as easy as simply telling them the findings or giving them the research papers to read. The reality is that it is never that simple, especially with time and cost often being significant barriers.

Below are some ideas that may be worth considering to start helping others on their research-informed journey…

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4 questions to use when checking students’ knowledge and understanding


How do we know if students truly understand and take in what we teach them? More importantly, how do we ensure that misconceptions aren’t developing and rooting in their long-term memory? Well, according to Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, the answer lies in regularly checking for students’ understanding.

Checking for understanding goes hand-in-hand with asking lots of good high-quality questions (another one of Rosenshine’s Principles). Asking questions can also provide a memory boost, as it prompts students to engage in retrieval practice.

To do this, there are four main questions you may want to consider using. Let’s take a look at the importance of checking for understanding, and what these types of questions are…

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