Designing lessons to optimize retention

Designing lessons to optimize retention

I read two articles this week about designing lessons to optimize retention—ensuring that what the kids take away from the lesson actually matches what you hope and think they’ll take away from it. They’re both medium-length reads, and worth your time, even if you aren’t homeschooling.

The first is from Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of cognitive psychology whose specialty is applying that field’s research to education:

Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Why Do Students Remember Everything That's on Television and Forget Everything I Say?

The second is from Jennifer Gonzalez, an experienced educator who now teaches teachers, and is Editor in Chief of Cult of Pedagogy:

Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?

I got both of these articles from a homeschool Facebook group that I quite rather like, but haven’t posted about before because it’s been closed to new members (it’s a small group, only 1.6K members). They’ve recently reopened the membership, so you can join if it sounds like a fit for you (be sure to answer the questions, you know the drill). It’s called Good Enough Homeschoolers.

The Good Enough Homeschoolers group is secular and academic, and what I really like about it is that it has a strong spirit of curiosity about what is most effective when supporting kids in their learning. The folks in there are good and nerdy about pedagogy, leaning hard on evidence-based teaching methods. As the name implies, though, the group recognizes that the goal isn’t perfection, it’s “good enough,” and most everybody is just cobbling together as best they can. The beauty of homeschooling is in the tailoring.

Join the discussion of this post over on Facebook.