Over the coming weeks information will be posted here about Research Leads and action research projects.
Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) – Zoe Jones and Hannah Christensen
To discuss and practice ways to reduce High Cognitive Load in the classroom.
To do this we intend to
- focus on the three types of cognitive load (Intrinsic, Extraneous and Germane)
- to create strategies for teachers to implement within their own subject teaching
- ultimately to reduce workload and to support, stretch and challenge all students.
Concrete Examples – John Harris
In your practise you are probably already giving the students concrete examples to help them understand an abstract concept. A common example is understanding scarcity. The example is seats on an aeroplane: 6 months before the flight, there are very few bookings, there is no scarcity of seats, the seats are relatively low cost. Three weeks before the flight, there are very few seats available, there is a scarcity of seats, the seat price has increased.
Now, research has found that it helps with student’s learning if they can correctly identify their own concrete examples to illustrate a point or aid with a definition.
This group will be providing help if you need it with identifying appropriate concrete examples for your own practise, and encouraging the students to identify concrete examples of their own.
Dual Coding – Abbi Wynne
Dual coding suggests that human cognition is divided into two processing systems: visual and verbal. The visual system deals with graphical information processing and the verbal system deals with linguistic processing. These two systems are separate and are activated by different information. There is a suggestion that words and pictures are coded and decoded mentally in different ways. For example, pictures are most likely to be coded both visually and verbally, whereas words are usually coded verbally rather than visually. Following these assumptions, So the thinking with Dual Coding is that if the information to be processed is coded both visually and verbally, the acquisition chances for learners can be doubled because the information is presented physically as a whole.
Elaboration – TBC
High Attainers – Sue McArdle and Lizzy Barber
We will be focusing on stretch and challenge across KS3 and KS4. We aim to research, investigate and trial practical approaches to challenge students that can be applied across the curriculum. We also hope to explode the myth that stretch and challenge means ‘more work’ for both students and teachers.
Interleaving – Helen McCartney and Zoe Harthill
Switching between similar topics quickly has been proven to give better long term results in comparison to spending an extended period of time on one thing. Hitting those misconceptions and subtle differences in concepts head on allow more of our pupils to avoid those errors further down the line. We will look at embedding interleaving within lesson sequences, as well as explicitly linking topics through schemes of work, and sharing best practice through discussion and evaluation.
Meta Cognition – Tom Corker
This group will look at ways to promote independence and resilience in students so that they can approach their work without being ‘spoon-fed.’
Meta-cognition aims to help learners think about their own learning more explicitly. This is usually by teaching pupils specific strategies to set goals, and monitor and evaluate their own academic development. The intention is often to give pupils a repertoire of strategies to choose from during learning activities.
Meta-cognition strategies have consistently high levels of impact. The evidence indicates that teaching these strategies can be particularly effective for low achieving and older pupils. Collaborative learning and discussion is a key feature in this process.
Retrieval Practice – Stuart Tingey
This is about getting students to ‘retrieve’ what that have learnt and the identify the gaps by comparing to what they should know. I want to explore a range of strategies that can be used in the classroom so the process does not get too repetitive for students and allows us to approach this vital skill in a creative way.
Spaced Practice – Xav Norte
This group will be focussed on understanding what neuroscience is now teaching us about how children actually learn, focusing on understanding the role of forgetting in strengthening memory. The idea is that after new learning, the brain needs to be distracted from the new learning while chemical changes take place in the brain leading to physical formation of what we call a memory in brain cells. But what does this mean for classroom practice?
We will therefore be seeking to understand the importance of ‘repetition’ and ‘spacing’ in teaching to create memories that stick. This will mean exploring two important factors:
- The role of repetition – how many repeats and within what timescale are effective
- The importance and nature of ‘space’ between episodes of teaching