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UniversityofCambridge: Learning and memory in the brain: a guide for teachers

4.7 stars
7 ratings

This course will help you discover how neuroscience and psychology can help your students learn more effectively.

Learning and memory in the brain: a guide for teachers
5 weeks
3–5 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Nov 29

About this course

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This course provides a guided tour through the brain, looking at the changes that occur on a cellular level when we learn new information or store a memory. Using research from neuroscience and psychology, we will look at the process of storing long-term memories, and how you can help your students do this effectively.

We will also examine the way the brain changes from birth to adulthood, and how these affect the way we learn and remember information. We will explore how teaching to a child’s developmental stage can benefit students and teachers. Then, we will dive into neurodiversity in the classroom, covering the current understanding of autism, dyslexia, ADHD and other cognitive differences, and how best to support these pupils.

Throughout the course, we will discuss how to apply this learning to your own classroom, and what the evidence says about the best ways to teach. By understanding more about the way memories are stored and recalled, we can explore different ways you can support your students to learn efficiently, so the memories last a lifetime, not just until the exam.

At a glance

  • Institution: UniversityofCambridge
  • Subject: Education & Teacher Training
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:

    There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to teachers from all levels and subjects, and members of the general public with an interest in the subject matter.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Human Development, Teaching, Dyslexia, Psychology, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Research

What you'll learn

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  • What happens in the brain when we learn.

  • What psychological studies have taught us about learning & memory, and their limits.

  • How the brain changes throughout infancy, childhood & adolescence.

  • How we can use this understanding to improve teaching and learning

  • What teaching methods are supported by the science

  • How best to understand and support neurodiverse students

Unit 1: Learning in the brain

  • What neurons and synapses are, and their role in memory formation.

  • The main brain regions implicated in memory and learning.

  • The power of repetition and spacing for forming memories

  • How old knowledge can boost the staying power of new facts.

Unit 2: Types of Memory

  • The difference between short term, long term and working memory

  • How working memory difficulties can impact student performance

  • Different types of long-term memory, including explicit and implicit, and the brain regions involved

  • How recall and recognition memory differ

  • The importance of cues to help with recall

Unit 3: Brain changes through the ages

  • How the infant's brain is primed for learning, and how different abilities mature at different times.

  • The evidence for critical periods in human learning.

  • The development of skills and thinking abilities across childhood

  • The importance of tailoring learning to developmental stages

  • The teenage brain and its implications for teen behaviour

Unit 4: Neurodiversity

  • Our current understanding of the brain basis of common learning differences including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Dyslexia

  • How the neurodiversity model differs from the medical model of learning differences

  • How teachers can support every student to reach their full potential

Unit 5: Evidence based teaching

  • Overview of some historical teaching methods and the evidence for them

  • Current best-practices in evidence-based teaching and learning

  • A variety of memory boosting techniques, and how they might be applied in the classroom

Learner testimonials

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"I’ve really enjoyed the course. Ginny has made quite complex topics really clear and easy to understand. The quality of the presentations have been excellent and I’ve benefited from being able to work at my own pace. Additionally, the reading lists have been helpful in expanding my understanding of the different topics."

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is this course for? This course is designed for teachers from all levels and subjects, and members of the general public with an interest in the subject matter.

Do I need to have studied psychology or education before taking this course? No, this course is offered at an Introductory level, and there are no prerequisites.

What are the benefits of becoming a Verified Learner? In addition to the core course lectures, reading material and discussion forums, Verified Learners will have access to additional Knowledge Checks and activities, and the opportunity to engage with the tutor in live Webinars.

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