Strategies for Enhancing Memory & Critical Thinking - E113
The EduGals Podcast
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The EduGals Podcast
Strategies for Enhancing Memory & Critical Thinking - E113
Feb 07, 2023 Episode 113
Rachel Johnson, Katie Attwell

This week, we are diving further into the book "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel Willingham. Specifically, we are exploring ideas of critical thinking, memory, and the importance of background knowledge in remembering key ideas and concepts. 

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**For detailed show notes, please visit our website at**

  • Why Don't Students Like School by Daniel Willingham
  • How To Get Students Thinking - E110
  • Chapter 2 key ideas:
    • Thinking skills depend on factual knowledge (intertwined and need to be practiced in parallel)
    • Working memory capacity is limited - chunking can "expand" it
    • Knowledge gaps continue to grow steadily unless we focus on closing the gaps
    • Thinking like a scientist needs background knowledge - unexplained results require expectations
  • Chapter 3 key ideas:
    • Memory is the residue of thought
    • What is in your memory? What do you always need to review?
    • What you are ACTUALLY thinking about is what is going to stick in your memory
    • Lessons - what do we want students to focus on and think about? Need purposeful goals and design
    • Hooks - what will students be focusing on? The flashy part or the concept?
    • Knowledge needs to first go into working memory before going into long-term memory
    • Effective teachers - nice (connections) and organized (interesting to learn, easy to understand)
    • Four types of connections - jokes, empathy/caring, storyteller, show person
    • Storytelling is important for memory
    • 4 C's: Causality, Conflict, Complications, and Character
    • Lessons can be structured using the 4 C's
    • Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
    • Flipping perspectives can be interesting (from character and conflict)
    • Mnemonics are great for memorizing concepts without meaning - cues the brain
    • Sometimes rote memorization needs to happen and that's ok!
  • Classroom Implications:
    • Critical lens to lesson plans - where is the focus of thinking?
    • Use discovery learning with care
    • Organize a lesson plan around the conflict
    • Be careful with attention grabbers

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