Shreedhar Pavar

Teacher of Science

Speaking at

Session

Designing a scheme of work using Cognitive science

For many decades, instructional design has been about teaching and acquiring generic skills such as generic problem solving that can be used to solve unrelated problems or in the generic skill of thinking that can be used in any curriculum area. While intuitively plausible and therefore fashionable that teaching such skills should be useful, there is no scientific evidence they are teachable or assessable
This session will outline how their replacement by evolutionary cognitive science is changing instructional design, by providing us with a scientific explanation of human cognitive architecture, we can create instructional techniques that both work and explain why prior fashionable methods failed.
I will outline the CogSci principles that can be used in designing a revised KS3/KS4 science SOW and how these avoid the trap of trying to explicitly teach innate biologically primary knowledge such as general problem solving and thinking skills and not using the pseudoscience of Bloom’s taxonomy.
In contrast, biologically secondary knowledge i.e. school subjects should not be left for students to discover but be explicitly taught using teaching methods designed to reduce demand on working memory and increase acquisition and retention of long-term memory.

A CogSci SOW template and examples will be made downloadable

Bio

Shreedhar has taught for nearly two decades in multi-ethnic secondary schools. He has been a head of department & 2nd i/c in Science, Citizenship&PSHE, 2nd i/c in ICT and staff governor. He read Chemistry at Greenwich University, a PGCE at King’s College London, followed by a PGDip in Software Engineering from Westminster University and a Master’s in Education from Kingston University whose dissertation was on Assessment for Learning. Completing a Teaching and Learning Academy level 2 through Canterbury University on applying Cognitive Science to teaching led to presenting for ResearchEd on CogSci and the dangers of pseudoscience in education

His website is www.learnandteachanything.com

Archive

The most dangerous ideas in education – the myths of generic transferable thinking skills and higher order thinking and how they are being replaced by evolutionary cognitive science

This session will outline how their replacement by evolutionary cognitive science is changing instructional design, by providing us with a scientific explanation of human cognitive architecture, we can create instructional techniques that both work and explain why prior fashionable methods failed.

For many decades, instructional design has been about teaching and acquiring generic skills such as generic problem solving that can be used to solve unrelated problems or in the generic skill of thinking that can be used in any curriculum area. While intuitively plausible and therefore fashionable that teaching such skills should be useful, there is no scientific evidence they are teachable or assessable

Until the scientist’s David Geary’s distinction between ‘biologically primary knowledge’ that we evolved to acquire and ‘biologically secondary knowledge’ that we have not evolved to acquire such as the subjects in school, knowledge categorisation and subsequent instructional design was pseudo-scientific.

Examples of biologically primary knowledge are general problem solving and thinking skills that are necessary for survival such as skimming and scanning or Blooms taxonomy, these are innate and cannot be subsequently re-taught explicitly

In contrast, secondary knowledge should not be left for students to discover but be explicitly taught using teaching methods designed to reduce demand on working memory and increase acquisition and retention of long-term memory

Applying Cognitive science to STEM teaching
I will be reviewing the application of Cognitive science to STEM teaching, myths such as transferable skills (Bloom’s), rote memorisation and differentiation and how to reduce cognitive load on both the student and teacher via the principles of knowledge and by using tablets/PC’s in the classroom. I will also touch on verifying its effectiveness and the dangers of educational ideologies.