How many of us have encountered the student who seems to expect the process of learning to be akin to osmosis? They sit in the room while you teach and thus they expect to learn. Or they read the revision guide and believe that the information should now be embedded in their brain. When learning is difficult, such students tend to have three stock responses. One, the teacher is not any good. Two, they (the student) are rubbish at that subject. Three, if the same strategies are applied the result will be different next time.
A short summary in this quarter’s Impact magazine (Summer Issue 3) offers a practical solution for teachers struggling with ‘it just won’t go in’ students. Julia Seggie and Nasima Riazat explain how brief retrieval tasks, the structured accumulation of revision cards over the duration of a course and carefully scaffolded learning has proved to be a reassurance and motivation for students who are willing but had not considered themselves to be able.
A full account is available through the Chartered College of Teaching’s Windows into the Classroom series online.