Students’ prior knowledge-- what they bring to the classroom from their other learning experiences-- can be the proverbial double-edged sword. This week, Claire and Jim dive into the book How Learning Works and the first of the seven research-based principles it describes. Learn why “knowing” is not enough, and how we as teachers need to activate the knowledge students bring with them before we can build upon it. We also discuss the perils of situations when students’ prior knowledge is inaccurate, and why it’s important for teachers to identify what knowledge is important for our particular learning environment (think “grammar”). Plus, we discuss strategies for helping a handful of students “catch up” without boring the rest of the class!
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Ambrose, S. A., et al. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.