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Learning and Social Interaction in the Classroom

Posted by Bambi Gardiner on

Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who died in 1938 but his work lives on in classrooms across the world. Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory has been hugely influential since the 60s and breaks down into three main areas: The importance of social interaction in development The “More Knowledgeable Other” The Zone of Proximal Development The concepts might sound a bit abstract but are actually very relevant to a hands-on teaching and learning approach. The theory can be quickly incorporated into homework and revision sessions and already makes up a big part of classroom teaching. The first area, on social interaction,...

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Positive Testing!

Posted by Bambi Gardiner on

With an epidemic of testing in our schools there is a movement against all the tests and in favour of less assessment. It is assessment that these tests are for – to keep check of pupils’ progress. But so much time is devoted to passing the tests that it takes away from actual teaching time. Which doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. However, there is a form of testing that does help children to learn. Testing can not only show whether they understand or remember concepts properly, but actually help pupils learn them. This can be seen in...

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The Protégé Effect

Posted by Bambi Gardiner on

“Docendo discimus” said the Roman philosopher Seneca: by teaching we learn. This old wisdom has been proved true in more modern times and the phenomenon is known as the Protégé Effect. Some of the first indications came from studies that looked at links between birth order and intelligence. Two separate studies showed that first borns are more intelligent than their younger brothers and sisters. The theory is that teaching their younger siblings, not even in a formal way and at a very young age, solidifies the concepts for the older children as well as making them more engaged and aware....

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The Difference Between Teaching and Learning

Posted by Bambi Gardiner on

A lot of the time the terms “teaching” and “learning” are used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. But that isn’t completely true. There are little differences between the words that are important. The differences are even greater when it comes to our SEN children. “Teaching” is about instruction, transmitting information. It has moved on from the rote memorisation that was popular until the 60s but it is still external, something that is “done to” the pupils. On the other hand “learning” is more internal. We can learn without being taught in that very traditional way, we can...

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Why Are Games So Important for Learning?

Posted by Bambi Gardiner on

We all learn more when we are interested, having fun and repeating information. How many songs do you remember the lyrics to years after you first heard them? The 'forgetting curve' has been featured on the blog before because it is so essential to understanding how children retain information. Also called the learning curve or Ebbinghaus’ theory, after its creator Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist living in the late 19th century, the forgetting curve shows how quickly memories are lost – but also, importantly, how to keep them “topped up” for the best retention of information. For children doing revision...

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