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Take it from the task-master: easy ways to get pupils thinking

Teachers know hard thinking leads to better learning. Here, Peter Mattock explains how to set up knowledge-boosting activities without burning the midnight oil

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Deciding what you want your pupils to do in a lesson so that they can consolidate knowledge, develop understanding or just generally explore a theme is one of the most important judgements that teachers make each day. Get it right, students thrive; get it wrong, learning stalls – or it can even go backwards.

Fortunately, task design is becoming an ever-more-informed process. The majority of teachers understand that engagement is a poor proxy for learning. Classrooms of pupils busy working on a task that they find “fun” does not necessarily mean the children will emerge having made any sort of ...

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