What is cognitive load theory?
The working memory is where we hold information and manipulate it to ‘learn’ it. It can only hold a small amount of information ('load') at a time: usually about 5 or 6 items. This is different from our long-term memory, which in theory is infinite.
Cognitive load theory describes how pupils’ working memory can be overloaded. To make learning most effective, teachers should use strategies to avoid this.
How does cognitive overload affect pupils?
It can cause them to make 'silly' mistakes
A similar problem occurs when pupils are asked to read a long paragraph from the board,