If there was a time to use the growth mindset, resilience and motivation strategies we often write about, this year has been it. 2020 has thrown many challenges at us, but it has also encouraged many to look on the bright side and appreciate the positives - a vital skill in times of crisis.
And this year has brought many positives for us at InnerDrive. As 2020 draws to a close we wanted to reflect on our highlights…
The privilege of supporting educators
Ordinarily, we would have been reminiscing about the hundreds of workshops we’d delivered at schools all over the country and Europe at the moment. Whilst this number is significantly lower this year, the pandemic has not stopped us doing what we love.
Psychological research and its many real-life applications have always been our passion. Giving educators easier access to these has always been our mission. In 2020, this became more important than ever. From lockdown resource packs to worksheets, or the nearly 130 blogs that we published, we felt lucky to be able to support educators and students feel, be and perform the best. Dickens will not be happy but… it was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
Launching the InnerDrive Online Academy
The question: how do we continue to deliver our workshops to schools online, without sacrificing their interactivity, practicality and fun?
The answer: The InnerDrive Online Academy. Since launching on 1st May 2020, we have created over 20 public and bespoke online teacher CPD and student modules and we are working on many more. They have been motivating, fun and exciting to make and have garnered rave revues from around the world which has made us feel like we have made a difference out there.
Writing the foreword for Kate Jones’s next book
It’s no secret that we are big fans of retrieval practice as a strategy, and of Kate Jones’s book Retrieval Practice: Research and Resources for Every Classroom. So, when Kate asked Bradley and Edward to write the foreword for the follow-up book, Retrieval Practice 2: Implementing, Embedding & Reflecting, they jumped at the opportunity.
We know that many of you are as excited to get your hands on it as we are, so make sure to preorder your copy.
Experimenting with new ways to share cognitive psychology findings
Making psychology more accessible has taken many forms for us over the years: blogs, posters, workshops, ebooks… This year, we made another collection of free resources available: short bite-sized videos that you can use to understand or explain useful concepts and strategies. If you haven’t seen them here, are a few you might like:
- What is the Redundancy Effect?
- How to get a concentration boost
- Control the controllables
- You can find the whole set on our YouTube channel
Developing an online leadership course with Cognita
This year, student leadership skills have become more important, harder to learn, harder to practise and harder to implement than ever. Developing leaders who know how to adapt to the realities of an online world has become a priority.
Cognita gave us the chance to work with them as part of their Inspiring Futures Program. We developed a 4-week online leadership course for seven of the schools in their group. The feedback on the result was awesome and we all came away knowing that we had made a difference to the budding leaders of our communities and schools for the next generation.
Taking part in the mental health in sports conversation
We started out and still work in sport psychology. Seeing the conversation shift towards better psychological support for athletes over the years has been immensely rewarding. Especially so this year, as many athletes were deprived of normal training. matches and events - most noticeably the Olympic Games.
Since then, we’ve seen major news outlets raise the importance of psychology in football and other sports. It was a highlight of our year to be involved.
- “Psychology in football: missed opportunity for the English game” on SkySports
- “Tips for wellbeing during the Coronavirus crisis” with The Anfield Wrap
Our work with the Kent FA
Changes in sport are happening at a local level as well. For us, this took the shape of some work we did with the Kent FA and their Respect campaign, helping their athletes and staff develop their mindset, teamwork, well-being and performance.
Finishing two new book manuscripts
After publishing award-winning Release Your Inner Drive in 2017 and The Science of Learning in 2019 and getting such lovely feedback, we thought we would write two more. It was both exhausting and fun to be back in the saddle again. Suffice to say: if you are a teacher or a parent, stay tuned in 2021…
(Update: the second edition of The Science of lEarning is out now! Get your copy...)
The creative ways educators have been using research in their practice
We are forever in awe of the resourcefulness of teachers and school staff. And when they apply that resourcefulness to things we created, well, we couldn’t be more proud. Here are a few examples:
- George Casley, the academic director of CATS Colleges, shared how they use our book The Science of Learning as a way to provide training and encourage conversations for teachers spread across three continents.
- Matt Bowman, a Physics teacher from Lima, Peru, recently took our online Cognitive Load Theory CPD module. After completing it, he explained exactly how he plans to use what he learned in his discipline in this article. A good read for those who want concrete examples of the theory’s classroom applications.
- The best part of the feedback we receive is reading about the genius strategies educators come up with. Schools using our online student modules have used many ways to make the InnerDrive Online Academy work for their students’ specific needs. We have written about 10 of our favourite strategies in this blog which is well worth a read.
Seeing the education community at its best
We didn’t give the previous 9 highlights any particular order, but this is definitely our top highlight of our 2020.
The education community has had many seriously big problems to overcome in 2020. Teachers had to change everything about what and how they teach pretty much overnight. School leaders have had to figure out how to adapt to ever-changing measures while keeping staff and students safe. Parents have had to juggle professional, parental and personal life as they blurred into one. And of course, many have found themselves at the intersection of several of these challenges, and more.
The education community has shown resilience, solidarity and kindness beyond measure, all to help students grow and learn in circumstances that were and are… less than ideal.
We are immensely proud to be part of this community. Of course, we miss visiting schools, but we are grateful for the few times we got to see you in person this year, and the many interactions we’ve had online with inspiring educators.
Stay safe, look after yourself and others, and have a wonderful, well-deserved break.
The Team at InnerDrive