In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, I chat with Dr. Nathaniel Swain about the work he is doing with teachers and middle leaders to ensure that all students receive instruction that is informed by the science of learning.
This is one of those episodes that is jammed packed full of insights and interesting tidbits, including what Dr. Swain describes as the biological imperative we have as humans to learn from others. Instead of falling for the romance that is having students discover or teach themselves the bulk of the material, Dr. Swain talks about the need for teachers to, well, teach the material, and to teach it explicitly and efficiently using principles and findings from cognitive science. As someone who is thoroughly fascinated with the innovations coming out of international education systems, you will also hear me pick Dr. Swain’s brain about the progress being made in Australia to implement evidence-informed instruction and explicit teaching.
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Before we go over to Dr. Swain, I wanted to promote an exciting learning opportunity that I am co-convening with Kathleen O’Rourke and Christie Barrett called the Middle Leaders Forum, which is part of Dr. Swain’s Australia-based Think Forward Educators network. I will include a link in this episode’s show notes to our first session, which is titled “How Cognitive Load Theory Changed My Teaching”. This presentation is based on my previous work with schools and should help participants to explore ways to embed the practical applications of cognitive load theory into their classrooms. Check out the description for time zones – which are either on February 6th or 7th depending on your location – and register today!
Dr. Nathaniel Swain is a teacher, instructional coach, researcher and writer. He is passionate about language, literacy and learning, and effective and engaging teaching for all students. Dr. Swain has recently joined La Trobe University’s School of Education as Senior Lecturer in Learning Sciences and Learner Engagement. He is a proud member of the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab.
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