The 32nd Vernon-Wall Lecture presented at the
Annual Meeting of the Education Section of the British Psychological Society
Kent’s Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes November 2012
Consider the following two lessons about the Tudors. They are, we might suppose, being delivered to two equivalent groups of 14-year-olds in the same school, perhaps even on the same day. In Lesson One, the students start by copying into their exercise books, as quickly and neatly as they can, a swathe of notes projected onto the whiteboard. When they have done that, they are set to read silently a few pages of their history textbook, and the lesson ends with a multiple choice questionnaire designed to assess their factual comprehension of the material they have just read...