What is it?
The Science of Learning provides current and relevant information on how students learn, and how teachers can help them learn better. It is important for all teachers to know about the principles of learning and how they can apply them in the classroom.
Sometimes, teachers make assumptions about how students learn based on their own experiences and what feels right to them; however, it's important to remember that our intuition can be wrong. For example, reading a text several times without any breaks or checks for understanding might not actually help us understand and remember the information better. Cognitive science can show us better ways to learn and remember information.
Another key aspect of learning is memory; it's how we remember and use information over time. Teachers can help students learn better by understanding how memory works and using that knowledge in their teaching. By introducing new information at the right time and in the right way, teachers can help students remember it better. Providing tasks that reinforce what students have learned will help them think critically and creatively.
When it comes to evidence-based reading instruction (the science of reading), Scarborough's Reading Rope, a tool created by Dr. Hollis Scarborough to understand the complexities of reading, is fundamental to understanding how students learn to read. It consists of two parts: word recognition and language comprehension. Importantly, the Reading Rope helps identify areas of weakness and guide interventions for struggling readers. It also highlights how building literacy knowledge is critical to reading success. Literacy knowledge refers to understanding the purposes, features, and conventions of texts. As students progress through primary and secondary school, they need opportunities to read a wide variety of genres and receive explicit instruction in text structures. Importantly, this research shows that students with more knowledge have a better chance of understanding the texts they encounter, and thus becoming skilled readers and writers.
The science of learning is a growing field that combines neuroscience, psychology, and other learning sciences. It shows that the brain continues to develop throughout life based on relationships, environments, and experiences. This research has many practical implications for creating opportunities for all learners in the literacy classroom.
How we use it
Cleverbean's approach to literacy is rooted in an in-depth understanding of the science of learning. Informed by evidence based practice and cognitive science, our materials are aligned with key principles that enhance educational outcomes for all students.
We acknowledge that learning involves a change in long-term memory, highlighting the connection between working memory and storing knowledge for future use. Our lesson plans encourage repeated practice for consolidation of knowledge, to ensure effective learning, fostering the development of robust mental models.
Understanding the limited capacity of working memory, Cleverbean presents all information in lessons and supporting materials in manageable chunks, providing opportunities at each stage of the lesson for guidance, feedback, and importantly, for practice. This approach supports all students, tailoring strategies to diverse capacities for processing information.
Cleverbean prioritises mastery, guiding students to store and recall knowledge meaningfully. Through varied practice, students develop fluency, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Relevant background knowledge is consolidated, empowering students to apply it creatively. This approach is evident in all lesson materials.
Finally, using insights from Scarborough's Reading Rope, Cleverbean designs reading lessons with a focus on two key aspects: word recognition and language comprehension. For word recognition, our lessons follow a systematic approach to teach phonics, starting with basic concepts like single letters and progressing to more complex ones. Early learners benefit from using picture books and engaging literacy activities. To improve students' comprehension, our lessons concentrate on vocabulary, background knowledge, and understanding language structures. Structured for explicit teaching and consolidation of learning, we also incorporate diverse mentor texts to enhance students' reading experiences.