The science of learning (part 2)

Following on from “Learning that works (part 1)” which was about what happens in our brains regarding paying attention, this post looks at how we assimilate and associate ideas and form memories. It’s a bit oversimplified, but gives a sense of what’s going on, I hope.

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9

PS As the lovely @Nick_J_Rose has pointed out, I’ve simplified things and somewhat conflated the ideas of ‘chunking’ and ‘schema’ – the former being about working memory and the latter being about long term memory. I’m grateful as ever for his feedback and I’ll try and unpick this in the next blog. You can read more about chunking, schemas and prototypes here.

DISCLAIMER: I’m neither a qualified psychologist nor neuroscientist so please let me know if I’ve made any errors here. I’d be really interested in any feedback that you have – please comment below!

The free national CPD database

Are you a CPD provider with courses, consultancy or resources for teachers and schools in England? Then this message is for you!

GoodCPDGuide logo

Dear CPD provider,

The National CPD Database is shutting down on 31st March 2012.

GoodCPDGuide is a non-profit organisation running a new, free national CPD database for use by all providers and teachers. It was set up because we feel that the ability for teachers to find quality CPD is too important to lose. We want to continue the great work of the TDA while striving to improve and further develop this important public service.

We are, therefore, able to list all your CPD courses and services absolutely free. We ensure that teachers trust our services through strict quality assurance, including:

    • Community reviews where users rate courses on impact on professional practice,
    • A strict code of conduct that ensures all providers commit to following best practice guidelines,
    • A GoodCPDGuide Quality Rating system giving certified ratings after inspection by CUREE.

Having launched at a National College event in Westminster two weeks ago, we already feature over 300 courses from big name providers including the Institute of Physics (IoP), National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), the ASCL union’s MAPS CPD service, Creative Education Ltd. and the University of Hertfordshire as well as many smaller consultancies and training providers, with more appearing every day. Our service is available to every school and every teacher.

So why choose to list with GoodCPDGuide?

    • It is completely free. No registration costs, no annual fees, no referral fees or commission.
    • Teachers trust our site. We pride ourselves on leading the way with quality assurance.
    • We offer a bulk upload facility which uses exactly the same format as the TDA database, so there is no duplication of work.
    • Our review system is open and transparent and you can respond publicly to every review.

You can start listing today. Simply sign up for the site, click on “Become a Provider”, agree to abide by the terms and code of practice, and start entering your courses straight away. Alternatively if you have any questions you can contact me at

I look forward to seeing your courses listed on England’s new free national CPD database!

Kind regards,

David Weston
GoodCPDGuide Founder
Twitter: @GoodCPDGuide

GoodCPDGuide launch

GoodCPDGuide logo

We have launched in public beta!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve launched our website in public beta, and to make it even better, the whole site is now completely free for teachers, schools and training providers.

Our site includes training courses, consultancy services, masters qualifications, videos, books, and podcasts. All providers can sign up and add their professional development services at no cost, and we never charge any commission. We’ve already got over 300 courses and resources listed with more appearing every day, and we already feature some big names in CPD such as the Institute of Physics, the ASCL union’s MAPS CPD service, University of Hertfordshire and Creative Education as well as a selection of great books from Amazon.

We take quality very seriously and all providers are required to agree to our Code of Practice. Any user in our community may write a review of anything in the database to rate their the quality of delivery, impact on their professional practice and the standard of facilities and service provided. This allows users to share their experiences, both good and bad, and we allow providers the right-to-reply to anything written about them. We are also working on an exciting collaboration with CUREE to create a quality assurance kite-mark that can only be obtained after an inspection of the course being delivered.

GoodCPDGuide is now a non-profit social enterprise to make sure that we can really make a difference to teachers and provide high-quality relevant CPD, with the aim to commission research in to the best way for schools and providers to deliver great training. We also hope to organise a conference to bring together schools and providers in innovative and exciting ways.

So, if you’re a school looking to deliver training, offer an outstanding practitioner for consultancy or simply seeking the most effective professional development out there then sign up to our website and receive updates as we bring on board the very best in CPD.

If you’re a training provider, higher education institution, subject association or consultancy service then sign up and list your code-compliant courses and services for free.

If you’re a potential sponsor or you’d like to collaborate with us then do get in touch.

Enjoy the site, we hope it becomes your one-stop-shop for quality CPD.

TDA announce CPD database closure

We’ve just received an email announcing that the TDA are closing their CPD database in March, as they feel the time is right for the education community to produce its own tools.

This is their email.

Teacher professional development is the principle key to improving an education system, and so the question to be asked is what will replace it?

Here at Informed Education we’re confident we have the answer. We’ve been working away developing our new site to be all that the TDA database is and more. We already have over 300 courses listed on our alpha website, and have signed up big names such as the Institute of Physics, Creative Education and the University of Hertfordshire to list their training opportunities on our new site, with many more on the way.

However, we will be offering much more than just a list of courses:

  • Consultancy services, including finding local ASTs and ex-LEA advisors
  • Podcasts and media clips
  • Books
  • Online courses and webinars
  • Reviews of courses provided by teachers, rating teaching, facilities and impact on their practice.
  • Education research summaries, written for teachers
  • Regular mailings to keep all school staff up to date with the latest training materials, opportunities, and research.
  • Reminders of key learning points from courses that teachers have attended, 10 days, 10 weeks, and 10 months after they attended.
  • Collaborative online areas for course attendees to share their ideas, learning points, and help each other implement their new ideas in the classroom.

We will be launching our public beta site in January, with a view to a full launch in March. We’re pleased to note that this timetable fits nicely in with the TDA’s plan to shut down in March, and we look forward to welcoming new teachers, schools and providers on board.

For more information contact Informed Education founder, and GoodCPDGuide developer, (Twitter – @informed_edu)

Some books that have inspired me

A whole load of books that have inspired me that I heartily recommend.

Good CPD Guide

We’ve been very busy over summer, and are proud to announce our new product,, bringing you a fresh approach to finding the right professional development opportunities, and making your training both more effective, and better value.

  • Find the most relevant training courses with ease, for free!
  • Keep up to date with courses that match your interests.
  • Make your CPD more effective – keep in touch with other delegates, share resources, and be reminded of your key learning points.
  • Check reviews of courses before you book, and review your experience after attending.


For CPD providers, our site will be a highly-effective way for you to reach the right teachers and schools.

  • It’s a risk-free way to advertise your courses and services.
  • No up-front fees or registration costs,and just 15% referral fee upon booking courses, or a flat-fee click-through charge to your website for further information.
  • You retain control of payments
  • Reach your target customers – we will carefully match your products to users’ needs.
  • Take control of reviews – you can publish a reply to any review, or reject inappropriate ones.

We’d love to hear from providers who would like to be listed when we launch. We’ll be publishing more information about the launch date very soon. In the meantime, do sign up for more information.