Modes of Learning


To use coaching as a way to improve how we ensure deep learning is the essential goal we strive for in the classroom and beyond we need to consider what that means in terms of the strategies we might employ in the classroom to engage with pupils and build their confidence and motivation to learn.

This diagram is adapted from the work of John West Burnham who looked at learning in the context of how well we retain and remember our learning. He talks about the single loop learning, the rote learning that sadly is synonymous with the need to ‘spoon feed’ our pupils as they approach SATs, GCSEs or A levels.

This first approach is shallow. Pupils memorise disconnected facts which they gather as information and can replicate for a short period of time in preparation say for an examination. The motivation to learn is for the specific purpose of revising or cramming. The pupil is compliant but often totally dependant on the teacher.

What we are looking for is the learner who is reflective, they are gaining knowledge that is retained and memorised.

They are motivated to want to learn, can interpret, make connections and deepen their learning.

They are not wholly dependant on the teacher and their learning is available to them hence the double loop of learning. they know how they are learning as well as what they are learning. Moving into the why factor or the profound learner, they are intuitive, have used their reflective knowledge to deepen their understanding and can use others ideas to build on their own.

They are triple loop learners who have deeply understood and can further their learning by sharing in research and their own ideas and original thought.

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