Blog of the Week: 27 May 2022 – Building on what they know

Evidence for Educators

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

What are the best conditions for helping pupils build on what they know?

In this blog we look at updating memory through a process of reconsolidation and what this might mean for teaching pupils.

Updating memory

If our memories are going to serve us well (i.e. make accurate predictions), they need stay relevant. This means they need to update when the environment suggests updating is necessary (Pine et al., 2018).

What are we talking about when we say ‘updating’ memory? Updating is just another way of saying we are changing what we know, i.e., learning.

For our purposes here: memory updating = learning.

Consolidation and reconsolidation

New information begins life as a fragile memory trace. Over time and with repeated access and usage, it becomes less fragile and more stable.

The process of stabilising memory is called consolidation (Dudai, 2004). Consolidation is storing memory…

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