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A three-step guide to making student learning stick

By September 22, 2020No Comments

As educators we’ve all committed our lives to learning. But what is learning, exactly? How does it work? Citing insights from cognitive science, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin breaks down how our students process new information, create memories, and apply it to new learning in this three-part video series on Making Learning Stick.

Part 1: Our brains are bombarded with millions of bits of information every second, so there has to be a system for what to discard and what to pay attention to with our immediate memory. Teachers can use this knowledge of learning science to create lessons that have a better chance of capturing students’ initial curiosity and interest.

Part 2: When we’re actively focusing our thoughts on new information or recalled concepts, our brains are in what’s called working memory. It’s an important part of how we create new and deeper knowledge, but there are limits to how much info our brains can keep “front of mind” and for how long. Here Bryan provides practical tips to create a better learning environment for students using their working memory.

Part 3: Our ultimate goal as educators is to create lessons that guide and deepen our students’ knowledge, moving it from short-term to long-term memory. Here’s how teachers can bring the cognitive journey to a successful conclusion: students who can apply stored knowledge to new situations in the future.

Learn more about the stages of memory and how to align your lessons and activities into a brain-based learning model that will help your students understand and retain more of what they’re learning in your class. Get a copy of Learning That Sticks: A Brain-Based Model for K-12 Instructional Design and Delivery from our bookstore and download our free paper Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model.

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.