Teachers often ask ‘how can I get students to learn X?’. The responses, instead of focussing on what research supports learning, often include making it fun, as though fun in itself is enough to make a learner learn.
Maybe we’re conflating engagement and fun here but it’s not enough (previous blog on why I don’t bother). Planning a lesson for engagement isn’t enough to ensure students learn. Many students are engaged but without planning for long term memory their ability to recall and apply knowledge will be limited.
It’s so simple but so many teachers have no idea either because it wasn’t on their ITE programme or their T&L lead hasn’t engaged staff with research on learning.
So instead of planning a fun lesson, I will recommend strategies that have some evidence of being effective for memory and long term application e.g a Lietner box or equivalent app.
The problem is, they generally aren’t based on a ‘one off’ lesson which is where most teachers become uninterested. They want instant solutions, a couple of weeks before exams. They call it ‘revision’ (it isn’t revision if they don’t know it!) It’s generally too late.
Whose job is it to train/inform/support teachers in learning and implementing this? Or is it all just another big red herring to distract teachers?