The potential impact of retrieval practice, spaced learning, successive relearning, and metacognitive approaches in the classroom cannot be underestimated. In this series, Kristian Still looks at nine interlinked elements crucial to these approaches and draws out important lessons for teachers from the research evidence. In part one of nine, he tackles memory.

In a recent SecEd article, I made the case that despite the “wealth of evidence” about the “reliable advantage” of test-enhanced learning – more commonly referred to as the testing effect or retrieval practice – it is more complicated than that and “retrieval practice alone is not enough” (Still, 2021).

In this series, I will attempt to elaborate and share what the recipe of repeated retrieval, spaced learning, interleaving, feedback, metacognition, and motivation might look like in and out of the classroom.

I will review the research and cognitive science behind these concepts and the modulators underpinning the effective retention of knowledge. In writing this series, nine clear but interlinked elements emerged, and so I will consider these elements across nine distinct but related articles:

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