Spaced practice in learning - at last!
I read a story in the Guardian today that literally made me whoop out loud. I've been going on about this for years, but at last someone in the schools system has had the courage to accept the science and get on with the practice. Ebbinghaus in 1885, supported by a century of follow up research showed that spaced practice works. It IS how we learn, yet hardly anyone in education and training puts this theory into practice. Education and training is largely blind to the basic psychology of learning, yet this project supports the idea that they'd better wise up - and fast.
A school in North Tyneside put students through a spaced programme interspersed with physical exercise and it had spectacular results. 80% of the class of 46 achieved acceptable results in GCSE Science module. I'm not entirely convinced that the project was properly structured (spacing seemed too tight) or researched, but it suggests that this is a fruitful line for further work.
Little and often learning works as it gives the brain time to encode and fix memories, as well as reinforcing those memories over time. The traditional sheep-dip approach (the norm) does neither. This focus on actual learning takes brain science and memory theory seriously. Can I suggest that you read this again in ten minutes, then again tomorrow.
Speaking to Dr Itiel Dror, he was aghast at the lack of basic knowledge in the psychology of learning in learning professionals. He also suggested some basic controlled research into a traditional lecture versus the same lecture on video (with learner control) and the same lecture in an e-learning format. Seems obvious but it hasn't been done - or has it?