Guideline Five | Prior Knowledge

5. Learning is more effective when students’ prior experience and knowledge are recognised and built on.

"[L]earners construct meaning out of their prior understanding. Any new learning must, in some fashion, connect with what learners already know … learners construct their sense of the world by applying their old understanding to new experiences and ideas."
Schulman, L. 1999, "Taking learning seriously", Change, vol. 31, no. 4, p. 12.

"Effective teaching supports positive transfer by actively identifying the relevant knowledge and strengths that students bring to a learning situation and building on them."
 Bransford, J., Brown, A. & Cocking, R. 1999, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, p. 66.

"If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows."
Ausubel, D., Novak, J. & Hanesian, H. 1978, Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, p. 163.

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