Cognitive Load Theory- Understanding the human brain.

I have spent some time researching and reading many articles and have found the best document for introducing cognitive load theory is the following produced by NSW Department of Education.

Understanding how human brains learn can help teachers to employ more effective teaching methods. This publication is designed to help teachers incorporate cognitive load theory into their teaching practice. It is intended to be a practical resource, and uses examples from the NSW syllabuses to illustrate how teachers can use cognitive load theory in the classroom.

During your teaching degree did you have any assignments or learning on cognitive load? Have you recently been to PL and learned more about this?

I would love to know,

Kind regards,

Ms Burke (Tash)

You can download the document from the following provided link.

Below is the introduction to cognitive load and the strategies supported by the department.

What is cognitive load theory?

Dylan Wiliam has described cognitive load theory as ‘the single most important thing for teachers to know’. Cognitive load theory uses knowledge of the human brain to design teaching strategies that will maximise learning. It provides theoretical and empirical support for explicit models of instruction, in which teachers show students what to do and how to do it, rather than having them discover or construct information for themselves. Cognitive load theory is about optimising the load on students’ working memories to help maximise their learning.

Cognitive load theory is supported by a robust evidence base which shows that students learn best when they are given explicit instruction accompanied by lots of practice and feedback. Through a significant number of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), researchers have identified a number of strategies that can help teachers to maximise student learning. These strategies work by optimising the load on students’ working memories.

STRATEGY 1 Tailor lessons according to students’ existing knowledge and skill ‘Element interactivity effect’
STRATEGY 2 Use worked examples to teach students new content or skills ‘Worked example effect’
STRATEGY 3 Gradually increase independent problem-solving as students become more proficient ‘Expertise reversal effect’
STRATEGY 4 Cut out inessential information ‘Redundancy effect’
STRATEGY 5 Present all the essential information together ‘Split-attention effect’
STRATEGY 6 Simplify complex information by presenting it both orally and visually ‘Modality effect’
STRATEGY 7 Encourage students to visualise concepts and procedures that they have learnt ‘Imagination effect’

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