How I use…. Cognitive Science in (Science) teaching

Sarah (our Head of Biology) has a strong background in Psychology, as well as in Science teaching, which means that she has integrated principles from CogSci into her practice for a while now. I’m sharing some of her ideas here.

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How I use mini whiteboards

When I started my PGCE in 2006, mini whiteboards seemed to be everywhere (although I got the feeling it was only recently that they had become so ubiquitous), and I was encouraged to use them regularly.

But I never really warmed to them, if I’m honest. I found them a bit of a faff, and I tended to assess learning in other ways.

Having said that, I do use mini whiteboards, and I do still use them regularly (if not frequently).
Despite the “faff factor”, I do think mini whiteboards have a number of positive points:

Metacognition and Revision (1) – how to approach exam papers

I have been using metacognition in my lessons to get students to reflect on their understanding in terms of exam technique and knowledge, so I thought it would be interesting to turn my ideas into something that could work for the masses (ie. not just History students) and specifically in terms of revision. All the students in the group were “High Prior Achievers”, so I felt I could use some more complex techniques with them, and encourage them to move away from “fail safe” methods, such as highlighting, reading over previous work, and producing flashcards, which students often rely upon in times of exam pressure.