Laura May Rowlands

‘Front loading’ and how it can support learning

A lack of cultural capital or historical understanding can limit some students’ ability to access literary texts. English teacher Laura May Rowlands explains how she levels the playing field by providing classes with the context and vocabulary they need before tackling challenging poetry or prose

How to use ‘front loading’ to support learning

Much of the job of a teacher is identifying barriers to learning and then finding ways around – or demolishing – them. That’s not always easy and it can be particularly tough when the barriers to a task are multiple and varied.

One such task is accessing challenging texts. The long list of potential hurdles includes vocabulary knowledge, historical understanding and comprehension skills, to name but three.

Laura May Rowlands set out to address this problem with her English classes and found some success with “front loading”. She explains how it works and how it is opening up new worlds ...

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