'How to do it' Guides

How to … spot the lack of learning

Chris Watkins says the attention given to learning in classrooms is often minimal and gives guidance on spotting the “space-invaders” which block learning.
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The first step is recognising that Learning is a rare focus in classrooms and schools. After four decades of studying classroom learning issues using hidden microphones and video cameras, Nuthall’s final book was given the title “The Hidden Lives of Learners” (Nuthall, 2007). This reflects the dominant pattern in classrooms since they were invented 5,000 years ago: teacher initiates, students responds, teacher evaluates (Cazden, 2001). Does this accord with your experience? Or as professional educators are you spending your day in classrooms talking about learning, in staff-rooms talking about learning, in meetings talking about learning? This may seem like dreamland but has become a reality in some schools I know.

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