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Before retrieval practice, do not overlook pretesting and metacognition

Written by: Kristian Still
5 min read
Kristian Still, Deputy Headteacher, Boundary Oak School, UK Over the last decade, an extensive body of literature on the benefits of testing (Roediger et al., 2011) has become connected with and articulated through the language and conceptual toolkit of cognitive science. The evidence is clear: testing or retrieval practice raises pupil achievement (Perry et al., 2021; Yang et al., 2021). More recently, the research on test-enhanced learning has moved beyond the ‘unequivocal’ benefits of retrieval practice, and two areas that have received more than a passing curiosity recently are pretesting – or ‘potentiated learning’ – and metacognition. What is more, when two world-renowned cognitive scientists, Dr Steven Pan and Dr Michelle Rivers, collaborate on the interaction of these two substrates, it is well worth teachers’ time to review their findings and consider how to apply these findings in our own classrooms to raise pupil outcomes, across subjects, age ranges and attai

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