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Ed fest desirable difficulties

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Slides used at Wellington Education Festival 2013 on Robert Bjork's theories of 'desirable difficulties'

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Ed fest desirable difficulties

  1. Deliberately difficultWhy it might be better to makelearning slowerDavid DidauWellington Education Festival22nd June 2013
  2. The most important role ofteaching is to promotelearning and to raise pupils‟achievement.Ofsted Inspection Handbook, 2013
  3. Outstanding teaching andlearning will result in “almostall pupils … making rapid andsustained progress.”Ofsted Inspection Handbook, 2013
  4. 2 questionsQ: If Ofsted judge T&L by observing lessons,what does „progress in lessons‟ look like?A: PerformanceQ: Can progress be both rapid andsustained?A: No
  5. TeachingLearningLearningThe input/output myth
  6. • But “as learning occurs, so doesforgetting……learning takes time and is notencapsulated in the visible here-and-now of classroom activities.”Graham Nuthall, The Hidden Lives of LearnersThe input/output myth
  7. Learning & forgetting
  8. What can be done?1. Separate performance from learning2. Introduce „desirable difficulties‟Prf. Robert Bjork, UCLA
  9. 1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe inferred from performance:it cannot be observed directly.Robert Bjork
  10. 2. Why is difficulty desirable?• Rapid improvement (performance):predictability, cues, massed practice• Sustained improvement (learning):variability, spacing, interleavingThese slow down performance butlead to long term retention & transferof knowledge
  11. The (New) Theory of DisuseRetrieval strengthStoragestrengthOld friend‟saddressNew friend‟saddressChildhoodaddressWhat youlearn in thissession
  12. Rapid progress preventssustained progress• The higher the retrieval strength, thesmaller the gains from additional study orpractice• Forgetting creates the likelihood ofincreased learning• If learning is difficult, retrieval strength willdecrease in the short term but willincrease in the long term
  13. “The illusion of knowing”Everyone likes rapid progressBut…The route to sustained progress iscounter intuitive
  14. Desirable difficulties• spacing• interleaving• variability• generation• testing• reducing feedback
  15. Hermann Ebbinghaus, 1885
  16. What the evidence saysSpaced vs massed practice d = 0.71Acquisition increased by d = 0.45Retention increased by d = 0.51John Hattie, Visible Learning
  17. InterleavingReadingnon-fictionPersuasivewritingAudience&purposeSpelling,punctuation&grammarParagraphing&structureAnalysingContextualisingAudience&purposeSpelling,punctuation&grammarParagraphing&structureAnalysingUsingevidenceContextualisingAudience&purposeSpelling,punctuation&grammarParagraphing&structureAnalysingContextualisingUsingevidenceUsingevidenceAnalysingpoetryCreativewriting
  18. GenerationGenerating information is morememorable than just reading itApplePearOr_____Ra______
  19. Items we‟ve not practisedretrieving are more likely to beforgotten in the short termBut, forgetting increases chancesof retaining information that isrepresentedRetrieval induced forgetting
  20. Testing• Which study pattern will result in thebest test results?1. STUDY STUDY STUDY STUDY – TEST2. STUDY STUDY STUDY TEST – TEST3. STUDY STUDY TEST TEST – TEST4. STUDY TEST TEST TEST - TEST
  21. Tests don’t have to be dull
  22. Variability
  23. Reducing feedback• Providing feedback of success iscounter productive• Students become dependent• Slows down pace of learning• Prevents risk taking & challenge
  24. A teacher‟s job is not to make workeasy. It is to make it difficult. if youare not challenged, you do notmake mistakes. If you do notmake mistakes, feedback isuseless.John Hattie, Visible Learning
  25. Key messages• Performance is not evidence oflearning• Share the theory of „deliberatedifficulties‟ with your students• Don‟t trust your gut!
  26. Sapere aude!David Didau@LearningSpylearningspy.co.ukddidau@gmail.com

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