The 3rd law of mastery


In previous lessons, we looked at how to align the structure of the curriculum and learning goals. Now we're going to zoom in on aligning teaching and assessment with the long-term aim of student expertise. This lesson looks at the first stage: Activate.


Try this activity to increase your awareness of what students know.

1) Choose one of the year 7 concepts below, and summarise the relevant understanding students might bring with them:

- Biology: Cells
- Chemistry: Particles
- Physics: Forces

First, identify the prior concepts related to these that students learn in primary school. You can find these in the primary national curriculum if you are in England (or in your own primary curriculum). For each concept you think the new one builds on, write a sentence to summarise the prior understanding students should have.

2) Identify possible misconceptions For this, you can use the website: AAAS Science Assessment.

Here are the links to the relevant pages: 


Summarise the misconceptions you think your students are most likely to have. Now you know what students know already, how could this help you to teach the new concept better?



Now try this short quiz (4 questions) to consolidate what we've discussed about assessing prior understanding.

After you click submit, you can view your score and the correct answers.

Ready to move on? Time for the 4th law of mastery.