Classroom < > Lab

Submitted By:
Rachel Veto Chabot, Stratford Academy, Macon, GA

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning by Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D and Patrice M. Bain, Ed.S.
Jossey-Bass, June 5, 2019

The work of Dr. Pooja Agarwal and Ms. Patrice Bain represents a "long-overdue opportunity to bridge the gap between learning in the classroom and learning in the lab." Citing extensive cognitive science research as well as years of practical classroom experience, Powerful Teaching highlights four "Power Tools" that can easily increase student retention and engagement: Retrieval Practice, Spacing, Interleaving, and Feedback-Driven Metacognition. The accompanying website provides templates of materials referenced in the book, allowing teachers to quickly and easily implement these tools. The authors creatively use the Power Tools throughout the book to help readers retain their message. Agarwal and Bain take care to show that these tools tackle timely issues and teacher concerns. For example, the book notes that student "anxiety decreases when retrieval is a standard part of every lesson and unit, is low-stakes or no-stakes, and may have no correct answers at all." An entire chapter is devoted to potential teacher difficulties such as increased planning time or loss of lesson content, "using Power Tools to tackle challenges, not add to them." This book provides both research-based justification for its claims and practical activities that can be implemented tomorrow, making it invaluable for any teacher.

Teaching Practice