Memorable Teaching: Leveraging memory to build deep and durable learning in the classroom (High Impact Teaching) Paperback – 9 April 2017
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Whenever the subject of memory comes up, invariably ganglions start vibrating and fears about Victorian ‘rote learning’ start whizzing about; as if getting students to remember the things we teach is an abuse of personal freedom and human dignity - I wonder why nobody says this about musicians practicing their scales, or actors learning their lines - but that is another matter. For the record, Peps Mccrea’s amazing book on ‘Memorable Teaching’ is not about making rows of robot students endlessly recite things until they have learnt them. Instead, this lovely, slim, volume contains fantastically useful strategies for ‘leveraging memory to build deep and durable learning in the classroom.’
Mccrea manages on every page to distil the latest theories of cognitive science into a readily accessible volume that allows you to make small but crucial changes to practice. In a nutshell he identifies nine key areas that are proven to have impact - for example how to focus student attention on what they need to think about and therefore enhance their chances of learning/bringing about a change in long term memory. He explains how busy slides and displays overload limited working memory, and he gives excellent advice on how to ‘orient’ student attention - and that’s just for starters!!
A memorable book on memory. I shall be borrowing heavily from this book and sharing widely with new and experienced teachers alike.
narrowing onto the actual process of teaching and learning.
This book presents all the reasons why we need to carefully consider what we deliver to students and how we deliver it so that we're working with their long term memory and not boycotting it. If you're an experienced teacher or new to the profession, these words will either resonate and assure or, open your eyes to the process of thinking and give you sound advice for your professional development.
Top international reviews
Mccrea keeps good company and frequently cites passages from educational reaseachers and pundits such as Wiliam, Hattie, Willingham and others. Indeed, this book is most valuable when seen as a romp through some of the key terms emanating from the latest research on how children learn.
In this tightly packed and economically written book, we discover far more than understanding the importance of ‘leveraging memory to build deep and durable learning’. Indeed, the working teacher will find confirmed here Mccea’s neatly framed 9 principles to help ‘manage student thinking’, but much more is on offer.
With this book, Mccea has managed to do more than define important terms. Indeed, his succinct passages on how to implement these concepts in the classroom will be of most help to the teacher, and while his examples stem almost exclusively from the realm of mathematics small work will be needed to transfer meanings to different disciplines.
The main shortcoming of the book is perhaps that we are left wanting more! Specifically with regard to more sophisticated notions such as ‘variation’ or ‘expediting elaboration’. We also struggled with the lack of index.
All in all however, Mccea hits the mark with this tidy and clearly presented work on understanding the important differences between Long term and working memory, and the implications of this both for student learning and teaching practice.
The joy is in the journey...especially the one you take with Peps McCrea's. Memorable Teaching !