What really moves the needle on learning?
In education, new ideas, tools, and strategies are coming at you all the time. On top of that, changing circumstances compel you to make adjustments to the way you normally do things.
With all of this spinning around you, it can be hard to find a clear path. What you need is a compass, a set of principles you can return to again and again when you start to feel like you're losing your way.
This mini-course is that compass: A set of four "laws" for planning instruction. Just instruction. Yes, many other factors influence the quality of a student's education, but when it comes to instructional planning—what you do in that 45- to 90-minute block of time that's set aside for actual pedagogy—following these principles produces the most powerful learning:
1. Keep the GPS on. Use best practices for learning goals, success criteria, formative assessment, and feedback to make sure students always know where they're headed and what they have to do to get there.
2. Classify, connect, and compare. Make the most of your students' natural tendency to sort information into categories.
3. To learn, we need to churn. Always provide opportunities for students to actively process the knowledge and skills they're learning.
4. Better to retrieve than receive. Apply the science of retrieval practice to help students store their knowledge in long-term memory.
Inside this self-paced course you'll find four modules, one for each law. Each module contains the following materials:
Videos: Each module is taught through videos that introduce the law, the research behind it, specific strategies you can use to implement it in the classroom, and how you can make it work if you're teaching remotely. All videos are close-captioned.
Guided Notes: To keep you actively engaged, complete these printable notes as you follow along with the videos.
Module Quizzes: At the end of each module you'll take a short quiz to check your understanding.
Reflection: Each module ends with an opportunity for you to reflect on how well you are currently applying this law and how you can improve in that area.
Summary Notes: this 22-page PDF summarizes all the key points from the videos, plus a full bibliography containing references for all the research behind the laws. This will allow you to quickly reference the concepts you learned in the course.
With this mini-course in your back pocket, you'll have a greater sense of confidence when planning your lessons. New ideas, tools, and programs will still come along, and your teaching situation can change at any moment, but anytime you need to get re-centered, anytime you need a refresher on what makes for a solid learning experience, you can always return to these four laws.
After spending over 11 years in the classroom, both at the K-12 level and the college level, I created my website, Cult of Pedagogy, to be a place where teachers could fully geek out on teaching. Since 2013, I've been researching and sharing effective teaching practices, exploring the social and emotional stuff that impacts our work, sampling the tech tools that help us along the way, and looking inside real classrooms to learn from teachers who are thinking outside the box.
Now I've created the Cult of Pedagogy Classroom as a place where teachers can focus on improving specific skills in a self-paced environment.
StartWhat the Research Says (1:55)
StartThe Law in Practice: Learning Goals (2:05)
StartThe Law in Practice: Success Criteria (3:04)
StartThe Law in Practice: Formative Assessment (1:19)
StartThe Law in Practice: Feedback (3:54)
StartTools for Remote Learning (2:04)
StartQuiz: Law 1
StartWhat the Research Says (0:48)
StartThe Law in Practice: Concept Attainment (3:03)
StartThe Law in Practice: Graphic Organizers (1:30)
StartThe Law in Practice: Inductive Learning (3:34)
StartTools for Remote Learning (1:19)
StartQuiz: Law 2
Frequently Asked Questions
Here's how multi-user licenses work:
Step 1: One person pays the group's tuition.
Step 2: By the next business day, we will email that person a coupon code to give to the other people in the group; each person would then use the coupon code to purchase their own single-user license for free.
If you need licenses for a number other than 5, 10, 20, or 40, you have three choices:
Option 1: Buy more licenses than you need with the idea that more people will eventually want to be added to your group (highly likely, because this course is solid).
Option 2: Have different people in your group buy different chunks. So if you have a group of 16, have one person buy a 10-user license, another buy a 5-user license, and one person buy a 1-user license, then do the math to figure out what everyone owes each other.
Option 3: Contact us for a customized invoice, which you can pay through PayPal or paper check.
We accept purchase orders from U.S. customers for any order of $25 and over; for international customers, the minimum amount for a purchase order is $99. To generate a quote for a purchase order, please fill out this form and someone from our team will contact you with an invoice.
If you have another question that hasn't been answered here, please get in touch with our contact form.