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this is for general information - so that everyone knows what is coming... we are currently at Tranche 1, Stage 1

In high level sport, every tiny detail is optimised - consider cycling, or skiing. Together these details offer an aggregation of marginal gains to ensure that everyone performs and achieves to their greatest potential.

Yet when it comes to learning, and perhaps especially high stakes testing - which hundreds of millions of children worldwide attempt each year - we are a very long way from vouchsaving their greatest potential performance. We know much more now about the science of learning spaces (see learnometer.net for example) and about revision strategies, deep learning, longer term memories, but it is impossible to imagine an Olympic athlete attempting to excel in their event's final, but not knowing what to eat for breakfast, for dinner the night before, or indeed over the preceeding 4 years!

So we are trying to help. Our initial Tranche 1 research has four stages (see below) followed by a second more rigorous Tranche 2.

We will like you soon, please, to try out our suggested dinner and breakfast recipes before a test or exam, and to reflect back on whether you felt that the recipes helped, or didn't help.

This is early research, there is no certainty, so don't try this on the-most-important-test-of-your-life yet, but try it on something that matters enough that you want to try to do better. The test / exam should be at least an hour long.

Then afterwards (please) feed back to us your thoughts using the very simple short survey linked below.


Tranche 1: initial four stages of our research

stage one: a literature survey - this is not about diet and well-being, which is covered well elsewhere - it is about diet and success in the exam room, together with by diet and more general success in Learning. At this date, Summer 2017 , we are still completing this first stage. The literature is disappointingly thin.

stage two: from the literature survey, we will have identified ingredients that we think would be useful to include in meals the night before, and on the morning of, your exam. We will have tested these with some rigour, on a small group of controlled volunteers - all in boarding school provision - also looking at factors like sleep and exercise.

stage three: then we will be asking a number of people, experts in diet and food (for example a Michelin star chef, a school caterer, a grandmother) to create recipes for your pre-exam dinner and your pre exam breakfast - and maybe for snacks too.

stage four: finally and some way off yet, we will be asking you to try these out, and then to answer the short survey posted here - self reporting and specific entries will be anonymous, but we will mail contibutors the initial findings; obviously, we will repect your privacy, always.


Tranche 2: full and detailed research

Our intention in Tranche 2 is to produce a more detailed, controlled, larger scale trial of the ingredients / nutrients insights that emerge from tranche 1 of work - as usual, proper science.

Watch this space for 2018/19...

 

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posted here for your information, to let you know what is coming as we get further into the work

this page last edited Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:13 AM - by Prof Stephen Heppell