Research

Every time you read a sentence that starts “Neuroscience shows that …”, alarm bells should start ringing. You can be fairly certain that what follows is a highly selective interpretation of a small amount of published research which may only be tangentially related to the topic.

However. We should not abandon the drive for a rigorous evidence base for our teaching, but we should interrogate all claims that are justified by neuroscience quite carefully.

MSc Educational Neuroscience. Building on the work of de Partz et al, method used for cognitive rehabilitation following stroke, but not widely know in the educational literature.

  • It is based on several well-established principles from the field of cognitive psychology, including dynamic, generative, spaced and interleaved testing; elaborative encoding; constructionism; and visual mnemonics

My study: 2 evenly matched groups of 9 yr olds, taught 20 words using either the Button Spelling method, or a comparable method (definitions and contextual sentences).

Results:

 

  • It uses formative assessment to see what the pupil can do and allows them to experience progress and success, transforming their attitude and boosting their motivation
  • It delivers truly personalized learning – each child in a class of 30 can be working at their own level – but still only requiring one teacher to oversee them all
  • It guides the teacher on what they need to teach or revise next, and provides them with the materials to do it, massively reducing their preparation time and utilizing their classroom hours much more efficiently
  • It gathers data on each child’s progress throughout their time at primary school, providing an invaluable record of individual and group learning