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Deliberately difficultWhy it might be better to makelearning slowerDavid DidauWellington Education Festival22nd June 2013
The most important role ofteaching is to promotelearning and to raise pupils‟achievement.Ofsted Inspection Handbook, 2013
Outstanding teaching andlearning will result in “almostall pupils … making rapid andsustained progress.”Ofsted Inspection ...
2 questionsQ: If Ofsted judge T&L by observing lessons,what does „progress in lessons‟ look like?A: PerformanceQ: Can prog...
TeachingLearningLearningThe input/output myth
• But “as learning occurs, so doesforgetting……learning takes time and is notencapsulated in the visible here-and-now of cl...
Learning & forgetting
What can be done?1. Separate performance from learning2. Introduce „desirable difficulties‟Prf. Robert Bjork, UCLA
1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe inferred from performance:it cannot be obs...
2. Why is difficulty desirable?• Rapid improvement (performance):predictability, cues, massed practice• Sustained improvem...
The (New) Theory of DisuseRetrieval strengthStoragestrengthOld friend‟saddressNew friend‟saddressChildhoodaddressWhat youl...
Rapid progress preventssustained progress• The higher the retrieval strength, thesmaller the gains from additional study o...
“The illusion of knowing”Everyone likes rapid progressBut…The route to sustained progress iscounter intuitive
Desirable difficulties• spacing• interleaving• variability• generation• testing• reducing feedback
Hermann Ebbinghaus, 1885
What the evidence saysSpaced vs massed practice d = 0.71Acquisition increased by d = 0.45Retention increased by d = 0.51Jo...
InterleavingReadingnon-fictionPersuasivewritingAudience&purposeSpelling,punctuation&grammarParagraphing&structureAnalysing...
GenerationGenerating information is morememorable than just reading itApplePearOr_____Ra______
Items we‟ve not practisedretrieving are more likely to beforgotten in the short termBut, forgetting increases chancesof re...
Testing• Which study pattern will result in thebest test results?1. STUDY STUDY STUDY STUDY – TEST2. STUDY STUDY STUDY TES...
Tests don’t have to be dull
Variability
Reducing feedback• Providing feedback of success iscounter productive• Students become dependent• Slows down pace of learn...
A teacher‟s job is not to make workeasy. It is to make it difficult. if youare not challenged, you do notmake mistakes. If...
Key messages• Performance is not evidence oflearning• Share the theory of „deliberatedifficulties‟ with your students• Don...
Sapere aude!David Didau@LearningSpylearningspy.co.ukddidau@gmail.com
1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe
1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe
1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe
1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe
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1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe Ed fest desirable difficulties

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1.Separating learning fromperformancePerformance ismeasurablebutlearning mustbe inferred from performance:it cannot be observed directly.Robert Bjork

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