Four Cognitive Science Principles Every Stats Teacher Should Know

Ross Metusalem (JMP)


As in many domains, education practice is becoming more and more evidence-based. This trend is driving an increasing incorporation of cognitive science research into teaching and learning. In fact, major education companies currently employ teams of cognitive scientists to help build their products and services according to decades of experimental findings. While this is a welcome development, the biggest impact on student learning will come from teachers’ targeted application of cognitive science in their own classrooms. Luckily, there is a core set of cognitive science principles that are both widely applicable and relatively easy to understand and implement. This breakout will review and demonstrate the application of four principles to statistics teaching: prior knowledge activation, cognitive load management, memory retrieval practice, and metacognitive awareness. Attendees will build knowledge of these principles that they can start using right away to promote evidence-based teaching practices in our increasingly evidence-based world.