Why working memory could be the answer

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Research has long offered multiple different answers to teaching questions, leaving teachers dangling as to which route to take. But Barbara Oakley argues that the key to unlocking the true path to effective teaching is slowly emerging: working memory research. Here, she details everything you need to know

Don't forget about memory

Research has left teachers dangling for decades on all sorts of topics that, at first glance, seem to have no connection with one another.

Is music distracting or soothing while studying? What about note-taking – is it a help, or a distraction, as students try to grasp key ideas? And when it comes to rereading and underlining, why do students fall so naturally into those approaches if, as research has revealed, they’re so harmful?

Then there’s perhaps the most contentious question in all of education: do students learn better via direct explanation by instructors, the traditionalist approach ...

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