How our filters work:

Our team sorts through all blog submissions to place them in the categories they fit the most - meaning it's never been simpler to gain advice and new knowledge for topics most important for you. This is why we have created this straight-forward guide to help you navigate our system.

Phase 1: Pick your School Phase

Phase 2: Select all topic areas of choice

Search and Browse

And there you have it! Now your collection of blogs are catered to your chosen topics and are ready for you to explore. Plus, if you frequently return to the same categories you can bookmark your current URL and we will save your choices on return. Happy Reading!

New to our blogs? Click Here >

Filter Blog

School Phase

School Management Solutions

Curriculum Solutions

Classroom Solutions

Extra-Curricular Solutions

IT Solutions

Close X

Mitigating Cognitive Overload in the Classroom: Strategies for Success 

As a teacher, it’s a well-known fact that our brains are often just as overworked and overwhelmed as our students’. And while we may not suffer from the same kind of “overflow” as our students, cognitive overload is still a real problem that we need to address. Read on to find out how we can mitigate cognitive overload in the classroom, But, before we dive into classroom strategies, let’s first define our problem.

Defining the Problem

Cognitive overload occurs when the brain is presented with too much information at once and is unable to process it efficiently. It’s like trying to pour a gallon of water into a pint glass. This can result in difficulties with attention, memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. In today’s digital age, with an abundance of information at our fingertips, cognitive overload is becoming an increasingly relevant issue.

In the classroom, cognitive overload can manifest in a variety of ways such as disengagement, difficulty following instructions, increased frustration, and confusion. It is not just limited to students, but it can also affect teachers in their ability to effectively deliver instruction.

Strategies to Mitigate Cognitive Overload

According to Rosenshine (2012), effective instruction can help prevent cognitive overload, and one of the ways to do this is through “well-designed sequences of direct instruction, modelling, and guided practice, and independent practice.” But what other classroom strategies can we implement to mitigate cognitive overload?

Chunking Information

One strategy is to break information down into small, manageable chunks and present them in a logical order. For example, instead of teaching an entire unit on fractions in one day, break it down into smaller concepts, such as understanding the meaning of fractions, identifying fractions, comparing fractions, etc.

Scaffolding Instruction

“Scaffolding is like building a bridge to the student’s understanding. It’s the support they need to cross over to the other side of the learning gap.”


Another strategy is to build on prior knowledge and provide support for new information. For example, when teaching a new math concept, you can use manipulatives or pictures to help students understand it, or provide real-world examples of how the concept is used. As Marzano, Pickering and Pollock (2001) noted, “students learn best when new information is connected to what they already know.”

Encouraging Meta-cognition

Teaching students to think about their own thinking, or metacognition, is another important strategy. Metacognition is the process of being aware of one’s own cognitive processes and being able to monitor, control, and regulate them. As Flavell (1976) pointed out, “metacognitive knowledge and strategies are essential for learning.”

While incorporating all of these strategies may seem daunting, even implementing a few can have a significant impact on reducing cognitive overload in the classroom. By addressing this issue, we can create a more effective and engaging learning environment that promotes student achievement and well-being.


  • Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem-solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp. 231–235). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Martin, R. A. (2007). The psychology of humour: An integrative approach. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Achievement emotions and academic engagement. Educational Psychology Review, 21(2), 115–135.
  • Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American Educator, 36(1), 12–19.
  • Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Leave a Reply

The author

Faheemah is an accomplished primary school teacher with over ten years of experience in the field of primary . She is highly respected by her colleagues and students alike for her dedication to teaching and her passion for creating engaging and meaningful educational content. Faheemah is currently responsible for overseeing the computing curriculum at her school, and she is always seeking new ways to inspire her students and help them excel. In her free time, Faheemah enjoys spending time with her family, especially her three young daughters who keep her busy and bring joy to her life.

Subscribe to the monthly bloggers digest

Cookies and Privacy
Like many sites this site uses cookies. Privacy Policy » OK