17 February 2016

Study in Scarlet

It's a well worn adage in the teaching biz, to which I've been connected more or less for a very long time, that you never really learn your subject until you have to teach it. The point being that until you can articulate the essence in your own words, you're just a rote robot. The question has always been: how to make the leap from learner to teacher? The best answer has always seemed to be: create a lesson to teach the material. In order to do that you have to answer the questions from the "students" you're going to teach. So, read then quiz. Rinse. Repeat.

Now comes some new experimentation which supports that notion. TutorText (that's 1961) has been mentioned once or twice. I had high school classes, maths if I recall correctly, using them. More than 50 years, and the notion of immediate testing has again been established.
"We found that you do better when you test yourself, rather than restudy, and that it didn't matter if you had A.D.H.D. or not," Dr. Knouse said in an interview. On average, the students recalled about 35 percent of the words they had studied twice, and 45 percent of those they studied once and then quizzed themselves on.

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