Prior Knowledge

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Consider the role of prior knowledge in maximising short and long-term knowledge gains. How activating prior knowledge helps knowledge growth and memory encoding.

About this module

In this module, we consider the role of prior knowledge in maximising short and long-term knowledge gains. We explore how the activation of prior knowledge enables effective diagnosis of starting points, highlights misconceptions and provides the foundation for knowledge growth and memory encoding. We look at strategies that focus on activating prior knowledge, ensuring it is working, including using the advance organiser and other similar approaches. You will be invited to reflect on and refine your own practice in your own context both between and beyond the sessions.

This module forms the starting point for other modules in this suite around maximising knowledge gains.

Session One: Why what we already know impacts on learning will explore:

  • How prior knowledge influences learning – the good, the bad and the just plain annoying.
  • Foundations for new knowledge, misconceptions and literacy.
  • The impact of prior knowledge variation in our classroom.

Session Two: Putting prior knowledge to work will explore:

  • Accessing and activation prior knowledge – a daily knowledge workout.
  • Examples of strategies you can apply to your practise – for example, elicitation and advance organisers.
What you will learn:
  • Understand how prior knowledge influences learning.
  • Learn that if activated effectively prior knowledge can be utilised to support short and long-term knowledge gains.
  • Understand how effectively diagnosing pupils’ starting points can inform misconceptions and support knowledge growth.
  • Understand how variation in prior knowledge impacts the classroom.
  • Learn strategies to access and activate prior knowledge.