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This three-part workshop will address the learning process from the perspective of new research in cognitive and neural science, and explore how educators can apply this knowledge to their own teaching practices.



This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Novice and experienced adult education (Math, ELA, and ESOL) teachers who would like to deepen their understanding of the learning process and explore using research-based learning activities in their classrooms

In three face-to-face sessions, you will learn about recent research on the mind, memory, and learning, and how to apply these findings to simple classroom activities that will enhance student learning, engagement, and memory. After each session you will implement one of the activities in your practice, adapting suggested teaching tools and techniques as needed, and share your observations at the next face-to-face session.

If you wish to earn PDPs for this event, there is an optional, one-hour, online session following the three face-to-face sessions.  In this virtual session, you will present an activity you've been exploring in your teaching practice, explain its underlying principles according to the learning sciences, reflect on the activity's implementation and outcomes, and describe next steps to further refine your practice. 

Guiding questions for this workshop include the following:

  • What does learning look like on the neural level? What does this mean for educators?
  • How does memory work? Why do we forget so much of what we learn? How can we as educators create more durable memory of classroom learning?
  • What is retrieval practice? Why is it such a powerful tool for learning? How can you use it in your teaching practice?
  • What is the role of effort in learning? What is "desirable difficulty"? What does it look like in the classroom?
  • How can we create more meaningful, robust, and relevant learning activities in our classrooms?
  • Why is "student speak" essential to learning? How can you tip the balance more toward student speak in your own teaching practice?

The course components include the following:

  • Three face-to-face sessions (3 hours each for a total of 9 hours)
  • Application to your teaching practice (2 hours)

Total PD hours: 11

PDPs are available upon request if the following criteria are met:

  • Attendance at all three face-to-face sessions
  • Three classroom implementations, each with a brief written reflection
  • Contribution to the virtual (online) sharing session on a date tbd

For more information, contact Dori McCormack at

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the role of effort, forgetting, variation, retrieval practice, elaboration, and multi-modal encoding in building memorable and transferable learning
  • Name several effective learning practices and explain their value by referring to research on learning and the brain
  • Plan action steps to incorporate research-based principles into your teaching practice
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 
05/17/2019 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
05/31/2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
06/07/2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
QCC Adult Community Learning Center, Room 229D
25 Federal St.
Worcester, MA 01608
PD Center: 

C&I PD Centers Collaboration

C&I PD Centers Collaboration
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
ESOL/English Language Learner
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy
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