How can cognitive load theory be applied to the teaching of history?

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As a follower of a variety of educational blogs and their Twitter accounts, I became aware of a large number of people talking about the development of cognitive load theory and the impact it could have for teaching. When Dylan Wiliam tweeted (@dylanwiliam), ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory is the single most important thing for teachers to know’, I decided to read about this further to see if it could be applied to the teaching of history.

Initial reading began with an article addressing why pupils make ‘silly’ mistakes in class (Ashman, 2015) and a chapter…

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