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Our Expertise - expertise > transforming learning communities > changing mind sets > innovative ways of delivering oustanding learning > cutting edge research and content
‘ Outstanding Teaching and Learning through innovation,inquiry, lesson study and peer coaching’

Cutting edge content and research

The training and coaching methods we use and the teaching and learning strategies we share with teachers are founded on the best of current research and tried and tested practice.

We have identified three central characteristics which underpin good to outstanding learning:

1. Not all outstanding learning experiences come about because of complex teaching strategies – small tweaks and changes to practice and environment can bring about both immediate and long term gains in pupil performance, classroom management, learning behaviours and progress.

2. There is a core of absolutely essential teaching and learning strategies without which teaching and learning will be less than outstanding and pupils will consequently make less progress than they are capable of.

3. There are a range of teaching and learning approaches that provide challenge, rouse curiousity, provoke creative responses and over time enable learners to take increased control over their own learning.

Current research and best practice brings together four key strands of effective pedagogy where the art of teaching meets the science of learning.

1. Learner centredness - a relentless focus on the learner and the learning process.

Teaching builds on pupils’ prior experience, knowledge, skills and interests and promotes self-direction. Pupils assume an active role in all aspects of learning. They know that taking risks, making mistakes, persevering and being resourceful are an inherent part of learning.

2. Assessment Centredness – enabling the learner to take control of their own learning and progress.

The pupils’ ability to direct and control their own learning, their reflective capacities and thinking skills are founded on being involved in identifying and agreeing the learning intentions and success criteria; responding to timely feedback, review and reflection and frequent opportunities for self and peer-assessment.

3. Community centredness - creating a collaborative ethos and encouraging dialogue for learning.

A collaborative learning ethos and collaborative tasks and activities extend opportunities for pupils to learn independently of the teacher and facilitate purposeful learning and thinking through dialogue and social construction. Pupils and teachers see themselves as both learners and teachers and actively learn together through dialogue and social construction.

4. Knowledge and skills centredness

Challenging learning tasks and activities infused into every lesson promote, engage and scaffold thinking and meaning making and skills development. Open ended questioning challenges pupils to contribute thoughtful, elaborated responses Pupils are encouraged to pose their own questions and analyse the contributions of others. They regard ‘being stuck’ or making mistakes as a learning opportunity.

Source: How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School; Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., and Cocking, R. (Eds), United States National Academy of Sciences, 2000). For a brief overview see also: About Learning: Report of the Learning Working Group, Horne, M., senior researcher and Lownsbrough, H., researcher, et al, DEMOS,