5 Ways to Make Tasks More Challenging

Making tasks challenging is incredibly difficult. A lot of the time, we simply don’t know how well learners will understand our instruction when they have such varying levels of prior knowledge.  We face a variety of issues in implementing challenge:– How quickly some students disengage– Anticipating failure and reducing the level of challenge– Seeing learnersContinue reading “5 Ways to Make Tasks More Challenging”

Starter tasks – are we using them badly?

We know that the brain actively seeks to tie new information to what it already knows (i.e. schemas, activation theory etc) and the role prior knowledge plays in this. Therefore, the intention of an introductory task or ‘starter’ *should* be to elicit prior knowledge.  This intention may have been lost along the way as theContinue reading “Starter tasks – are we using them badly?”

Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part Three

Part one looked at the constructivist teaching fallacy and poor proxies for learning. Part two looked at the twin sins of curriculum design and mathemathantic effects. Part three will look at challenge-by-choice, anachronistic tasks and tasks that do not match their instructional intentions. Challenge-by-choice For those unfamiliar, challenge-by-choice refers to task-based differentiation, whereby the learnerContinue reading “Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part Three”

Why KWL Grids Are Not Fit For Purpose

If you are not familiar with KWL grids, let me explain. They are an assessment tool of three stages. What the learner already Knows (K), what the learner Wants to know and then finally what the learner has Learnt (L). So, they usually look something like this: Teachers give them to pupils at the startContinue reading “Why KWL Grids Are Not Fit For Purpose”

Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part Two

This is a blog in a series on task design. The others can be found here. Part one looked at the constructivist teaching fallacy and poor proxies for learning. This part will look at the twin sins of curriculum design and mathemathantic effects. The Twin Sins of Curriculum Design Wiggins and McTighe posit that curriculumContinue reading “Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part Two”

Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part One

This blog is part of a series on task design. The previous blogs can be found here. It seems obvious that to design tasks effectively, we need to know what can make tasks ineffective. By knowing these pitfalls, we can circumvent them and consequently design more effective tasks. I defined Constructivism in a previous blog,Continue reading “Where Do Classroom Tasks Fail? Part One”

Designing Tasks to Support Long-Term Memory

This is blog 6 in a series on Task Design. The other blogs can be found here – Task Design Series. “Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.” – Sweller (2011) This definition of learning as a change in long-term memory (LTM)Continue reading “Designing Tasks to Support Long-Term Memory”

Leading Teacher Development

Teacher development, and the leadership of it, is a hot topic at the moment. It is therefore worth pausing to ask ourselves, ‘what is teacher development’? And ‘how should we lead it’? Teacher Development The NPQ Framework for Leading Teacher Development states that teacher development, “is likely to involve a lasting change in teachers’ capabilitiesContinue reading “Leading Teacher Development”