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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
The stages of information processing: input; encoding; storage; retrieval and output.
Types of forgetting: decay; displacement; retrieval failure (lack of cues)
The primary focus of the memory topic is to enable learners to develop an understanding of how memory works and how it sometimes fails us. Subtopic one of this delivery guide focuses on the stages of information processing and types of forgetting. Subtopic two focuses on the Multi-Store Model of memory and differences between the stores in terms of encoding, capacity and duration. Criticisms of the model including rehearsal verses meaning is also considered. Research illustrating the impact, on behaviour, of neurological damage (The Clive Wearing study) is the key research study.
Subtopic three focuses on the Theory of Reconstructive Memory and the concept of schemas and the role experience and expectation on memory and the effect of leading questions and how autobiographical advertising can change our memories of the past. Synoptic links with debates are also made by considering criticisms of the theory including the reductionism/holism debate.
In subtopic four the structure and function of the brain is explored and how the brain works in the formation of memories and the impact of neurological damage on memory.
The final subtopic focuses on the use of cues and repetition and avoiding overload in advertisements and the use of autobiographical advertising. Techniques used for recall and the development of neuropsychology for measuring different memory functions including the Wechsler Memory scale.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
This topic introduces learners to a lot of terminology. Building a glossary would be a good way for learners to manage this. Key concepts such as decay and displacement can be confused, and so practical activities that stimulate engagement could help learners to remember them accurately.
It is important that learning can go beyond simply naming or identifying key concepts such as the stages of information processing. Contextualising them with examples of their own memories will encourage them to describe each stage.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
This topic (and its subtopics) provide a good opportunity to embed research methods. The experimental method and case studies are a consistent feature across the subtopics facilitating participation in mini experiments and learners designing their own.
The brain and neuropsychology is assessed throughout the whole specification. Subtopic four focuses on the structure and functions of the brain and how the brain works in the formation of memories;- how neurological damage can affect memory; the role of the hippocampus on anterograde amnesia; the frontal lobe on retrograde amnesia; and the cerebellum on procedural memory.
Leaners could participate in a practical activity to illustrate the difference between decay and displacement. To illustrate displacement replicate Waugh & Norman’s, (1965) Probe Digit Procedure.
After teaching the difference between decay and displacement. Task students to complete the types of forgetting resource to consolidate their knowledge.
Learners to make a flow chart to show the flow of memory information from input to output. They could use one of their own memories to illustrate the flow of information processing.
If learners find it difficult to use one of their own memories, they could be given a brief piece of material to learn, illustrating the process with the flow chart as they go.
After teaching retrieval failure due to the lack of cues, divide learners into three groups. Each group designs a way of investigating each type of cue: context (situation); recreating context through smells and mood dependent. Learners could carry out their mini research practical on each other.
There is scope here for learners to write up their research practical using the standard headings for reports. They could practice drawing graphs of their findings and summarising their results into tables.
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