The cognitive challenges of effective teaching by Stephen Chew and William Cerbin is one of the best and most practical research studies anyone in education is going to find.

Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall, but there are a variety of ways to still gain access to it (see The Best Tools For Academic Research).

They lay-out a list of key challenges facing teachers, and then offer a number of different strategies for responding to them.  As the text box on top highlights, they recognize that we all face different school environments so, though the challenges may be common, the responses to them are not.

Here’s their list of challenges.  Though you definitely want to read their paper, and I don’t say that about a whole of studies, I’ve also hyperlinked several of them to “Best” lists on the topic you can find elsewhere on this blog:

Student mental mindset



Student fear and mistrust

Prior knowledge


Ineffective learning strategies

Transfer of learning

Constraints of selective attention

Constraints of mental effort and working memory



You can get an accessible copy here: