The Pulse of Learning: ATTEND, HOOK, NARRATE…


Something which I hope people realise in reading this blog is that I love creating new conceptual frameworks and digestible metaphors for seeing the teaching and learning process.

A particular passion for me in my day job involves me trying to provide for my colleagues evidence-informed sets of principles which – as long as they follow them in their classroom – can then free them up to teach however they want – giving them a motivating level of professional autonomy and the most powerful fit of technique to practitioner.

One thing which astonishes me is that there seems to be nothing out there to focus teachers on the absolute pulse of the learning process; The thing which in every lesson enables us to take learners from a place where they didn’t know something to a place where they now do.

I feel the need for something memorable that could fit on a sticker on the front of a teacher’s planner (and not one that is purely an inspirational or aspirational slogan… ‘Move them forward!’ ‘Get them to College!’ ‘Set them free!’)

Consequently, below I present a graphic which attempts to boil as much respectable brain-science as possible into the simplest core-learning takeaway for teachers to keep at the forefront of their minds as they go about their various pedagogical adventures.

This doesn’t fit every kind of human learning – for example simple stimulus-response arcs, or the many instances of peripheral ‘acquisition learning’ which is effectively how character develops. However, it provides a heuristic which should thoroughly match what we principally aim for in structured classroom situations – whether using explicit instruction or inquiry based learning.

As ever, suggestions on how I could improve this would be very welcome.

The Pulse of Learning

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