Motivating students and improving memory.

a few weeks ago we welcomed Bradley Busch from Inner Drive who gave a talk to boys and staff. Here are his main points:

a. How can we motivate students?

  1. Create autonomy: pupils are encouraged to make their own choices. This fosters independence and an inquiring mind. However, too much choice can be bad.
  2. Foster mastery: encourage pupils to focus on individual development and to stop comparing themselves to others.
  3. Give pupils a purpose for what they are doing: if not, they will lose interest. This can be individual development, to build a passion for the subject or to contribute to group work.  Give students a purpose beyond exams for what they are doing.

b. How can we improve memory?

  1. Make students think more deeply about their responses. Ask them WHY?
  2. Encourage them to space out their reading– cramming doesn’t work as well.
  3. Do regular tests and quizzes. These need to be done in a supportive environment rather than to give negative feedback. You don’t need to give a grade or they can peer mark.
  4. Ask pre-questions before you teach. Encourage them to guess the answer.

 

A few more tips to share with students:

  1. Reading out loud is more efficient than silent reading
  2. Highlighting information you want to remember is not very useful.
  3. It is easier to remember things if you divide them in chunks.

 

If you want to listen to Bradley’s talk go here:

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-667838070/audio-01-15-2018-20-46-37

 

For more information see here:

https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2017/oct/06/what-every-teacher-should-know-about-memory

https://blog.innerdrive.co.uk/studies/4-the-one-about-spacing-your-learning

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/11/30/why-youre-more-likely-to-remember-something-that-you-read-to-yourself-out-loud/

https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/dunlosky.pdf

 

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