Best Practice

The science of starting your lessons well

Start as you mean to go on. Doctoral researcher and classroom educator Sean Harris examines some of the practical and research-informed routines for starting lessons well

It takes very little time for us to form judgements about a person when we first meet them. Palomares et al (2017) found evidence that a single glance at a person’s face (for just 33 to 100 milliseconds) is enough for us to form a first impression. Judgements about status, trustworthiness and attractiveness are the most common.

Before you think about those times when you rapidly formed judgements of the school inspectors walking into your classroom, instead turn your attention to the students and consider how rapidly they might get learning.

I am a firm believer that the starting routines and rhythm to a lesson are a predicator to the learning that can follow. Even the most challenging of students (and classes) deserve a great start to their learning.

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