I’ve written about Stephen Chew‘s great work before (“9 little things: teaching and learning are complicated,”) but this video from Dr. Chew is so important that it’s worth a separate blog post. This is a bold statement, but I think it might be the most useful, information-packed 24 minutes of learning teachers and administrators can find on the internet (or anywhere!)
Dr. Chew calls this video “Learning in Pandemic Times,” but the information isn’t specific to remote teaching or other aspects of teaching during the Covid19 pandemic. In the video, Dr. Chew walks us through the most useful and research supported cognitive psychology model of memory, and clearly explains how different aspects of this model relates to teaching and learning. I’ve written about this model before (“The 3 Box Memory Model and Teaching/Learning,”) but Dr. Chew does something unique and incredibly useful with the model in this video.
The innovation in this video involves what Dr. Chew calls “Choke Points” and “Pitfalls.” As he walks us through the model, he identifies “choke points,” or limitations in our memory system that create constraints or restrictions in what we learn. At every step, he explains the relevant choke point and offers a practical suggestion about how students can overcome this limitation. He also identifies “Pitfalls,” which are common mistakes people make when trying to learn. These are common studying techniques, etc. that work against our learning because they aren’t aligned with the way human memory works.
I encourage EVERYONE who is interested in teaching and learning to watch this 24 minute video. Teachers and administrators will get a clear and practical overview of how the cognitive psychology model of memory relates to how we do our jobs. As Dr. Chew says at the beginning of the video: “Learning only takes place in one location, and that’s inside your brain.” If we start with this principle and this model of memory and learning, we can focus our efforts and help students learn in more efficient and useful ways.