Prior Knowledge

Core Principle of Learning 3: Learners Prior Knowledge is activated and connected to new learning

Students’ prior knowledge is the lens through which they perceive and react to new information. If it is inaccurate, incongruent or limited, it is likely to interfere with the meaningful integration of the new knowledge presented. Prior knowledge is an essential source of information from which to design and focus teaching and learning strategies.

Ausubel (1978) went as far as arguing that:

If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him (sic) accordingly. (p.163)

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