An essential dimension of teaching
Developing powerful learners doesn’t just happen using traditional good teaching. Teachers and the cultures they create in classrooms need to become more learning friendly, where learners feel welcome and valued as contributors. In learning-friendly classrooms teachers gradually share more of the responsibility for learning with their students; develop a learning language to enhance and explain learning; construct learning activities and classroom routines to build positive learning habits; celebrate, recognise, and display the growth in learning habits.
For learners the classroom becomes a place where their role changes from receptivity to activity
For teachers the classroom becomes a place where their role changes from teacher to learning coach.
Developing a language for learning
Deep talk about the ‘how’ of learning is what sets learning powered classrooms apart. Having a language that captures the richness of learning enables teachers and students to better understand and discuss the learning process, helping them to uncover learning as a visible process that they can improve.
The language of learning offers teachers and students alike a rich vocabulary for thinking and talking about what learners actually do, and this in itself enables them to expand their capacity and appetite for learning. Students come to recognise that learning is not simply about having a good memory but that it involves their feelings, how they relate to others, different ways of thinking and how they manage the process of learning. Giving students a language for discussing the process of learning enables them to harness and develop their learning powers (habits) and become self regulating learners with the ability to self manage, monitor and modify. Building powerful learners is supercharged meta-cognition. Building learning power is about nurturing the expandable and learnable human disposition to learn.
See more on the model for friendly learning cultures below.