According to some descriptions, (e.g. Craik and Lockhart, 1972) memory is nothing more than a by-product of processing. The depth at which information is processed determines the strength of the memory trace and how easily we can recall it later. Information can be viewed as the raw material for creating knowledge, but the operations weContinue reading What is test expectancy?
Do you remember what you learned at school? Chances are you have a vague idea but the details are a bit fuzzy. Or you might not recall anything. Surely, however, if learning really is an ‘alteration in long-term memory’ then we shouldn’t forget what we’ve learned? So, perhaps, we forgot because we didn’t learn itContinue reading Why do we forget what we learned at school?
Summary: Blank Slate (Tabula Rasa) views of human development erroneously claim that we are born devoid of innate mental content. From birth, humans already have in place the systems required for rapid learning. These systems include those related to object recognition, language, numbers and intentions of others. They are then fine-tuned as the infant interactsContinue reading The Problem with Blank Slates
The term ‘gist memory’ usually refers to less detailed long-term memories, often (but not exclusively) episodic memories. However, our semantic memories often rely on these memories of events as we use situational cues to help us recall them. It then follows that errors here can have a knock on effect. When we read a book,Continue reading The problem with gist
We tend to identify different personalities intuitively. Some people we might describe as ‘live wires’ while others are more contemplative; others, still, might be prone to worry or are avidly curious. We often describe these differences using folk theories with a light smattering or psychology, so we might call the quiet people introverts and theirContinue reading Is there a learning personality?
The Dutch psychologist Adriaan de Groot doesn’t always get the same kind of recognition as other cognitive psychologists, his name often restricted to paragraph or two in psychology textbooks or a brief citation in the work of others such as Anders Ericsson, Alan Baddeley and John Sweller. Nevertheless, De Groot has been described as ‘theContinue reading From Novice to Expert: The Role of Long-term Working Memory
Emotion is certainly one of the most neglected influencers in teaching and learning, despite its impact on many learning related processes. While we may discuss at length the role of anxiety, other facets of emotion remain all but absent from the conversation. When emotion is discussed, its role is invariably linked to mental health andContinue reading Cognition and Emotion: A complicated relationship
You might have noticed that when you’re talking to someone, it’s often difficult to maintain eye contact. Teachers might have noticed that when children are addressing the class or attempting to answer a challenging question, they will avert their gaze away from their audience. Psychologists call this behaviour gaze aversion and it’s thought to serveContinue reading The Importance of Looking Away
(Adapted from Becoming Buoyant, 2020, Chapter 5) Do you like popcorn? For the sake of argument let’s assume that you do. Not only do you like popcorn, you are also an avid cinema goer and like nothing more than a large tub of popcorn to enhance the experience. This is a routine that operates likeContinue reading Creating Good Habits
Collaborative learning can be described as two or more learners actively pursuing and contributing to a shared goal, or trying to share the effort required to reach that goal. It has become a mainstay of educational practice. During my time as a teacher there was always an expectation that most lessons would involve some elementContinue reading Collaborative learning and Cognitive load