Post the COVID lockdown I invited a couple of my swimmers to attend a one day workshop to allow them a recap on our previous lessons. This experience really highlighted the significance of Spiral Learning.
Bruner’s spiral curriculum is an approach to education that involves regularly revisiting the same topics over the course of a student’s education. Each time the content is re-visited, the student gains a deeper knowledge of the topic. It has the benefits of reinforcing information over time and using prior knowledge to inform future learning.
Cyclical: Students should return to the same topic several times;
Increasing Depth: Each time a student returns to the topic it should be learned at a deeper level and explore more complexity.
Prior Knowledge: A student’s prior knowledge should be utilised when a topic is returned to so that they build from their foundation rather than start anew.
Both swimmers gained so much by spiralling back around the content during the workshop and this allowed them to make great improvements on the day, both within their bodies and their understanding.
As a teacher you sometimes feel like you are repeating yourself…going round and round in circles! On the other side of that experience is a student developing and gaining a greater and deeper understanding.