How does students’ prior knowledge affect their learning?

how_learning_worksA student’s previous knowledge helps them establish new knowledge. By creating connections to this old material, they are able to build off it and solidify the new content in their minds. However it is important that this foundational knowledge be activated, sufficient, appropriate and accurate. If not, it can actually hinder learning.

So before teaching new material, we should activate the appropriate prior knowledge. This may be prior knowledge may be basic science background or material covered in an earlier class. Continue reading “How does students’ prior knowledge affect their learning?”