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HOW PUPILS LEARN. Based on Research and Evidence from the MEd. What are the key factors that contribute to effective learning? What implications does this have for teaching?.

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HOW PUPILS LEARN

Based on Research and Evidence from the MEd

What are the key factors that contribute

to effective learning?

What implications does this have

for teaching?

This research group is focusing on classroom practice; exploring and evaluating how students learn and how teachers can help them to learn more effectively

Keywords and Phrases

Learning to learn Pedagogy Thinking Skills

Teaching approaches ICT Language acquisition

Use of questioning Learning strategies

Independent thinking Meta cognition

Summary of Findings

  • Students learn in many different ways.
  • Time needs to be built into courses to experiment, refer to and learn from peers.
  • Students need to be actively questioned about their own learning in order to understand how they learn.
  • Using activities which promote higher order thinking skills, high road transfer and metacognition are very important.

The Herts MEd in Teaching and Learning - University of Cambridge

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Implications for practice

It is important that the school is willing to implement, promote or has:

  • A whole school understanding of the factors that influence attainment.
  • A willingness to re-examine how ICT is taught.
  • A review of how to teach ICT so that students gain the most from the activities.
  • A range of strategies that allow students to think for themselves to ensure maximum learning gains.
  • A culture that allows whole school awareness of learning styles.
  • Structures that seek and respond to pupils’ views.

Pertinent questions

  • To what extent are different learning styles taken into account when lessons are devised?
  • Are problem solving approaches used to accommodate the diversity of learners in an inclusive school setting?
  • Are the factors which influence boys’ attainment in language and literacy being taken into account?
  • Are pupils encouraged to verbalise their thought processes and reflect on their learning?
  • Are pupils encouraged to think for themselves to problem solve on the computer?
  • Is the value of ‘pupils as teachers’ taken into account?

The Herts MEd in Teaching and Learning - University of Cambridge

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Quotations

  • …the most important skill determining a person’s life pattern has already become the ability to learn new skills, to take in new concepts, to assess new situations, to deal with the unexpected. This will be increasingly true in the future: the competitive ability is the ability to learn.

(Papert, 1993:vii)

  • No educational objective is more important for students than learning how to learn, and how to function as an independent, autonomous learner.

(Howe, 1984:14)

  • Teaching thinking is based on knowledge as organised systems of thought with appropriate strategies for finding answers to questions.

(Johnson and Gardner, 1999)

  • The individual thinker must become aware of his own thought processes in order to correct them.
  • (Erdos, 1990)

Suggestedreading

  • Adey, P., Fairbrother, R. and William, D. (1999) Learning styles and Strategies: a review of research. London: King’s College.
  • Arnot, M., James, M., Rudduck, J. with Duveen, G (1998) Recent Research on Gender and Educational Performance: OFSTED Reviews of Research, London: TSO
  • Claxton, G. (1999) Wise Up: the challenge of lifelong learning. London: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Roberts, Maxwell J., and Erdos,George(1993) Strategy Selection and Metacognition in Educational Psychology vol 13, Nos: 3-4, p 259-266.
  • Howe, Michael J.A., (1984) A teacher’s guide to the psychology of learning, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Papert, S. (1993) The Children’s Machine: Rethinking school in the age of Computers, Hemel Hempsted: Harvester Wheatsheaf
  • Sternberg, R. and Spear-Swerling, L. (1996) Teaching for thinking, Washington: APA.

The Herts MEd in Teaching and Learning - University of Cambridge

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Researchers

Contact group convenor, Anne Moody

for further information

Attached LEA adviser, Phil Suggitt

The Herts MEd in Teaching and Learning - University of Cambridge