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Revealing the expert schema: Is your curriculum boring?

If I showed you a picture of how I think about a topic I teach it would be orderly and organised. It would probably also appear overwhelming and complicated if you were not an expert in this domain. (If you’re interested you can see the most epic of these, my ‘ macro map ’).   If I was going to teach you about this topic, I would gradually reveal elements of the picture to you, until you could see and appreciate the entirety of the big picture that I can see. I am trying to get you to a point where you can think independently like an expert. You will have the network that I have, so you can make the links I can make too, and then you’ll likely even make some I would miss.  This is frequently how I go about teaching my students. I will reveal, often graphically, very small and carefully sequenced pieces of my thinking, very gradually and over time, before eventually revealing the entire picture. The steps are small and the journey is leisurely, but long. You will get there, assuming you
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Optimising Revision Using Learning Science, and You Tube!

  “Revision?” I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘revision’ as it can imply that one should leave reviewing, recalling and, essentially, learning material until the last minute before an examination. However, it’s probably realistic to think that, regardless of what has happened during earlier months of their studies, most students are likely to want to increase efforts towards cementing their knowledge and exam skills in the final few months, weeks and days before they are tested. So, I figure it’s best to make sure that I maximise their chances of success seen as I now have this additional enthusiasm to play with!! I have been employing a whole variety of learning science inspired strategies throughout the course of the programmes of study I teach, so students I teach will have already benefitted from regular retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving, use of concrete examples, encouragement to elaborate, and careful thought about visual presentation (considering benefits of dual codi

Back to the Future

Ensuring something happens in the future is potentially rather easier to achieve if you possess a time machine. In theory such a contraption facilitates your travel back in time to amend things that are wrong with the present before they happen, or enables you to leap forwards to tweak moments in the future for the better. However, as Marty and Doc humorously demonstrate, this isn’t always as simple as it might seem! For the rest of us non-time-machine-owning folk, our main hope for ensuring things happen in the future lies in the effectiveness of our ‘prospective memory’. As opposed to ‘retrospective memory’ (where we are trying to remember something from the past), the concept of prospective memory refers to our ability to remember something in the future. Will you remember to wish Lucy a happy birthday tomorrow morning? Will you remember to send Jack to the office at 12.20pm for their appointment? Will you put out the garden waste bin instead of the food waste bin next week? T

Receiver-Focused Reporting

*********************************  Open your personal email inbox.  You don’t have the same emails as me. We’re individuals. Even if you’re on the same companies’ databases as me, in many cases, we’re not getting the same mail. The era of mass communication is fading fast and customer relationship management (CRM) professionals have become increasingly adept at fine tuning the communication they engage in with us.   Retailers have used your loyalty card data to analyse your typical basket. Fashion, leisure and car companies have tracked your browsing of their website to measure your engagement. Your fitness app is keeping tabs on what you’re up to, Facebook is noting what you’re Googling, even Teacher Tapp will chase you if you’ve gone AWOL for a while! [i] You’ve been tracked, segmented and targeted with all manner of very specific messages from numerous different sources.   And the purpose of this data analysis and precisely targeted messaging? To attempt to affect your beha