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Video and strand introduction

Video transcript

Presenter: Helena Moore

This strand is all about instruction. By instruction, we mean anything that teachers and pupils do in the classroom that is meant to get them to learn. Getting instruction right is hard, but it often boils down to what teachers know, and how they put that knowledge into practice in their classrooms. The best teachers know their pupils, they know what they’re teaching, and they know how to help their pupils learn those things.

But just knowing isn’t enough. Great teachers put that knowledge into practice in their classrooms, they’re continually assessing their pupils to see if they understand and they adapt all the time to help their pupils learn. So there’s a lot there, but the evidence is pretty clear that people can become great at instruction and we’ve put a lot of thought into designing resources that are going to help you to keep getting better.

Presenter: Melanie Hooson

It doesn’t feel very controversial to say that effective instruction ensures that pupils learn what we teach them. But what we mean by learning? Over the decades, psychologists have come up with various definitions of learning, but perhaps the one that’s most useful for teachers is this: learning involves a lasting change in pupils’ capabilities and understanding.

When we understand the importance of getting pupils to remember what we teach them, it makes sense to think about how memory works. Memory is where pupils process and remember what we teach them, it is fundamental to learning and instruction. Getting to know how memory works will help teachers design instructional practices that help them to retain what we teach them in the long term. In other words, it will help pupils to learn.

If I wanted a teacher to understand how to teach in a way that will help pupils to learn, I would tell them to start with these three things. Number one: learn about a simple model of memory, including working memory and long-term memory. Number two: learn about how our memory stores information in mental models. And number three: learn about explicit teaching. This is a form of teaching that takes advantage of the strengths of how our memories work and reduces the impact of their limitations.

Most of the experienced teachers I’ve worked with have had to identify the kind of practices that really help their pupils learn mostly through trial and error. I think the model of memory and learning are so central to developing as a new teacher because it will help you to fast track through those experiences and help your pupils to find success much more quickly than you would on your own.

Presenter: Helena Moore

In this strand, you will explore the foundations of effective instruction and the link to how pupils learn. You will consider how to guide pupils’ learning via an explicit teaching approach, and you will learn some specific strategies that can be applied across a sequence of learning.

Each module will include a weekly video. The purpose of the videos is to give you a broad understanding of the module and a concrete example of what some of the ideas look like in practice. The videos draw on the same research base as the evidence summaries and illustrate some of the action steps that you may encounter in your weekly coaching.

One thing to remember is that whilst the models in the video will show an aspect of what you learn about that week, they cannot show all of it. One example alone would never be enough to cover everything that the module does. To get the best out of these videos, pay attention to the key ideas that we highlight. It might be a different subject or phase to the one that you teach, but these videos have been carefully curated to ensure they demonstrate key ideas. These key ideas are relevant across all subjects and all phases.