Winter Research Roundup

Wanting to start the new year with knowledge of what the latest research and ideas are saying about developing metacognition and self regulation in learners? Here’s a few books, articles and podcasts to kick you off.

Self-Regulated Learning:

First up is a comprehensive summary of the research from our own Lorna Gardiner around Self Regulated Learning – what it actually is, how it is developed and how it can be supported.

Brain Breaks:

If you’ve got your head around that and actually want to process it then you’ll need a ‘Brain Break’. They are well worth doing if you want to cement learning – here’s the science behind it – courtesy of an Edutopia micro video 

New for 2024: Resources for ages 5-7 (KS1).

Adventures in Metacognition is an award winning set of stand-alone ‘learning how to learn’ lesson resources. In addition to the resources already available for ages 7-11 (KS2) and 11-13 (KS3), we have now added resources for ages 5-7. To find out more, use the link below!

The Thinking Classroom:

The idea of a Thinking Classroom has been gathering significant interest on social media. If you haven’t yet heard of this approach to increasing active learning then here’s an interview with its founder, Peter Liljedahl, professor of mathematics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Hidden potential:

New year, new ambition to achieve more? If so then you’ll need to know about the science of how to achieve greater things. Popular science writer Adam Grant does a good job of condensing the research into an inspirational narrative in his book ‘Hidden Potential’ .

Testing Times:

With retrieval practice very much on everyone’s radar – this fascinating study ‘The Value of Using Tests in Education as Tools for Learning—Not Just for Assessment’ is well worth a read. It looks in detail at some of the mechanics of the multitudinous ways of testing and their impact on learning. In a nutshell – the findings are that educators should use frequent, low-stakes, cumulative exams and a variety of test formats (e.g. cued recall, multiple-choice, and true/false) and give students exams both prior to learning and following the presentation of the to-be-learned material.

Character Education and School Improvement:

Talking of things that inspectorates are interested in, The Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham have produced a useful document ‘Outstanding Schools: Character Education and School Improvement. It draws on research to show how character education can underpin the four criteria in the Ofsted school inspection framework (quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management). Offering useful advice, it looks to help schools develop longer-term plans and strategies that embed character education into everyday practice.

And Finally...

Perhaps some research to settle the direct instruction versus enquiry based learning approach? ‘Let’s talk evidence – The case for combining inquiry-based and direct instruction’ – the conclusion (as if we didn’t all know it anyway!) …  a smart combination of the two is best.

From everyone at the Thinking Matters team, we wish you a successful 2024 and hope to see as many of you as possible at the two-day Festival of Metacognition in London on June 17th and 18th (details below).

Alisdair Wade

CEO, Thinking Matters

June 17th 2024
St. Mary’s, Marylebone, London

The Festival of Metacognition is even bigger. It will be a two-day event, with our full conference on Monday 17th June, followed by a Thinking Schools Tour on Tuesday 18th June. With inspirational keynote speakers and expert workshops already lined up, this is an event packed with practical and insightful ideas for you to take home, with the bonus of joining a tour of established Thinking Schools in London on day 2. Tickets will likely sell quickly, so it’s a good idea to register your interest soon!

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