The Hidden Lives of Learners

nuthallbookTonight’s 15 Minute Forum was led by our Director of Humanities, Martyn Simmonds.  Martyn was discussing this great book.  He picked out some of the key themes from the book, and then shared how this could help to shape our teaching.

nuthall quote

Learning is individual

  • Learning involves making connections between new information and prior knowledge.
  • Students know about 40-50% of what we are going to teach them….
  • … BUT the prior knowledge differs between students, so it will be highly variable.
  • Students with different background knowledge, will experience the activity differently and therefore learn different things.
  • One third of what students learn in a lesson is unique to them – and won’t be learnt by others.

Learning usually involves a progressive change

  • Single, isolated experiences do not give birth to learning – learning is not a one-off event, it happens over time.
  • Learning is shaped by a sequence of events – and students should experience things three times at least before learning is embedded.

nuthall diagram

Learning is linked to experiences and activities and is affected by peer culture

  • Students learn ‘what they do’.
  • Students’ experience of an activity is as much a part of what they learn as is the intended curriculum content.
  • What students learn and how they learn it, is intertwined with their social relationships.
  • Students learn through their interactions with other students and this depends on their ‘social status’.  This can be positive e.g. more ‘dominant’ students correcting student errors, or negative e.g. more introverted students changing their minds about their (correct) thinking because of comments by more dominant students.

What does this mean for our teaching?

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This entry was posted in 15 Minute Forums, General Teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Hidden Lives of Learners

  1. Daniel J. Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Education Web Gems.

  2. Pingback: The Hidden Lives of Learners | petersugden

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