PEN Principles - 12 ways of improving teaching

The Science of Learning Research Centre is an Australian initiative bringing together more than 100 neuroscientists, psychologists and education researchers from across the country, collaborating on programs to better understand learning, using a range of innovative experimental techniques and programs.

They have developed 12 PEN Principles (PEN = Psychology, Education and Neuroscience) which are well worth investigating. Many of them are surpising, counterintuitive and yet backed by the latest research.

Science of Learning Research Centre web site and PEN Priciples can be accessed here.

PEN Principles:

  • Written Text and Spoken Word Don’t Mix

  • Visual Images and Spoken Word Mix Well

  • Spatial Predictability Guides Attention

  • Spacing-Out Practice Enhances Memory

  • Leverage Context According to Outcome

  • Multitasking Impairs Memory & Learning

  • Mix-Up Practice Tasks to Boost Performance

  • Embrace Error to Improve Learning

  • Active Recall Trumps Passive Review

  • First Impressions Colour Future Judgement

  • Find the Story Behind the Fact

  • Pre-Activate Strategies to guide Learning