Learning and memory in the brain: a guide for teachers

Learning and memory in the brain: a guide for teachers

20 h
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  • From https://www.edx.org
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  • 5 Sequences
  • Introductive Level
  • Starts on March 10, 2024
  • Ends on September 13, 2024

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Course details


Unit 1: Learning in the brain

  • What neurons and synapses are, and their role in memory formation.

  • The main brain regions implicated in memory and learning.

  • The power of repetition and spacing for forming memories

  • How old knowledge can boost the staying power of new facts.

Unit 2: Types of Memory

  • The difference between short term, long term and working memory

  • How working memory difficulties can impact student performance

  • Different types of long-term memory, including explicit and implicit, and the brain regions involved

  • How recall and recognition memory differ

  • The importance of cues to help with recall

Unit 3: Brain changes through the ages

  • How the infant's brain is primed for learning, and how different abilities mature at different times.

  • The evidence for critical periods in human learning.

  • The development of skills and thinking abilities across childhood

  • The importance of tailoring learning to developmental stages

  • The teenage brain and its implications for teen behaviour

Unit 4: Neurodiversity

  • Our current understanding of the brain basis of common learning differences including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Dyslexia

  • How the neurodiversity model differs from the medical model of learning differences

  • How teachers can support every student to reach their full potential

Unit 5: Evidence based teaching

  • Overview of some historical teaching methods and the evidence for them

  • Current best-practices in evidence-based teaching and learning

  • A variety of memory boosting techniques, and how they might be applied in the classroom


There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to teachers from all levels and subjects, and members of the general public with an interest in the subject matter.


Ginny Smith
Panel Tutor, Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge


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