Research for learning: Two of the best

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February 22, 2015 by dragonflytraining

Teacher Training, UK

Author, Alan Jervis, @Alan_Jervis

Alan’s Dragonfly Training courses can be found here:

Worldwide research into what makes a significant impact on student’s learning has produced an invaluable insight into areas we should focus on.

Microteaching has been identified as having a high impact on the quality of teaching and learning. Microteaching sessions involve teachers recording part of a lesson and then reviewing the recording with a critical friend.

The advent of tablet technology makes such recording easy and cheap.  There is quite an array of Apps that would support microteaching. The length of such recordings is often about 15 to 20 minutes. Stamford University has developed a model for microteaching. The focus of the microteaching is chosen by the teacher and the review of the lesson celebrates good practise and raises points for action. The teacher then has a second opportunity to micro teach, implementing the points for action.

These sessions will encourage a professional dialogue and engage a conversation on the personal voyage of self improvement. This has encouraged risk taking and experimentation, and teachers involved report that they feel empowered.

Breaking through student’s low expectation of themselves has been identified as the most important element in some research for learning investigations. Student’s achievement can be hampered by negative belief systems. If you think you can’t do it then you probably can’t.. Once the teacher has supported the student to perform at a level beyond their expectations, he or she may have an epiphany of attitude change.

We are in the territory of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. N.L.P. is the technology of the mind and is based on the factors that account for student success or failure.

I used an N.L.P. approach with a group of disaffected Year 10 students. They were given dedicated workshops over a 4 week period. It concentrated on

  • Goal setting
  • Control of self talk
  • Management of behaviours
  • Use of aspirations to change belief systems

The workshops had significant success in breaking down students low expectations of themselves and engaging a positive belief mind set. We observed an improvement in the student’s learning and a subsequent increase in their gradient of progress.

Another approach to breaking through students low expectations is an idea called Mind Sets. It is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dwek, after decades of research on achievement and success.

In a fixed mind set, students believe their intelligence or talents are fixed and cannot be improved. They spend their time recording their intelligence instead of developing it. They also believe that talent alone creates success, without the need for effort.

Teacher Training UK


In a growth mind set, students believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This approach stimulates an inquiry of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments. Virtually all great people have this mind set. Careful use of teacher’s language to students can help to support a growth mind set and allows students to break through any limiting low self expectations.

If you would like to know a great deal more about Research for Learning please book yourself onto Dragonfly’s flagship course by clicking on the following link:

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