Greg Ashman – Cognitive Load Theory and Direct Instruction vs Inquiry Based Learning

March 1, 2017 - Podcast
Greg Ashman – Cognitive Load Theory and Direct Instruction vs Inquiry Based Learning

On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Greg Ashman.

Greg is a maths and science teacher, originally from the UK but now based in sunny Australia. He is a prolific and influential blogger and is also working towards his PhD in Cognitive Load Theory, something which Dylan Wiliam recently tweeted was “the single most important thing for teachers to know”.

Now, if you enjoyed the educational research aspects of my interview with Dylan Wiliam, and the memory related discussion I had with Will Emeny, then you are going to love this. We dig deep into Cognitive Load Theory and in particular its implications for Direct or Explicit Instruction versus inquiry or discovery based learning in the classroom. And I will say from the outset – and discuss more in my Takeaway at the end of the show – reading Greg’s work and the research he cites has really changed the way I approach my own teaching 12 years into my career.

In a wide ranging interview we covered the following things and more:

If, like me, you are interested in educational research, no matter how much you have looked into it, I really believe you will find this discussion of great interest. I have tried as much as possible to tease out the practical implications for the classroom – and that is the great advantage of having Greg as a guest. He is a working maths teacher who can put the ideas he reads into practice every single day.

On Twitter Greg is @greg_ashman
His excellent blog can be found at:
Greg’s ebook, “Ouroboros”, is available to purchase here

Links to the research that Greg mentions, as well as all the research cited by my previouis guests, can be found here
The books Greg recommends, along with those recommended by my other guests, can be found here

Greg Ashman’s Big 3
1. American Educator
2. Education Echo Chamber 
3. Research Ed 

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

I am a maths teacher, currently teaching at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, UK. Here are links to some of my work:
Mr Barton Maths Blog
Twitter: @mrbartonmaths
Diagnostic Questions
Mr Barton Maths Podcast
Just the Job Podcast

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