Best Practice

Cognitive science in the classroom: 30 ideas

Cognitive science has much to tell us about how children learn and how we should teach. But converting this into classroom practice can sometimes feel challenging. Matt Bromley offers 30 tangible tips for teachers

According to the educational psychologist, Paul Kirschner, learning is a change in long-term memory.

In other words, for pupils to learn they must store new information in their long-term memory, or they must alter the information that is already stored in their long-term memory, perhaps by connecting it to new information (building ever-more complex schemata – or mental maps – that speed up pupils’ thinking) or by adding further layers of meaning to it (thus deepening a pupil’s understanding and aiding transferability).

How, then, can we help pupils to change their long-term memory and thus learn, for this surely is our primary aim as teachers? Well, I suggest we follow three simple steps:

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