Learning Goggles

The term ‘Learning Goggles’ is one I use frequently to describe how it is possible to learn from everything and anything. You’ll have noticed on the main blog page that this is what Full On Learning is all about. So whether it is listening to a business-guru describing the best way to motivate a team, stumbling across a new way to explain research into how the brain changes as we grow up or looking at the way in which the London Underground is designed, there’s always ideas and insights that we can use to design learning. Being curious about the world means that we’ve always got our Learning Goggles firmly secured.

This page is dedicated to resources, think-pieces and ideas that you may find helpful as you develop all aspects of learning in your school.  By looking at the world through Learning Goggles, we can see just how many amazing learning opportunities exist all around us, in what we are already doing and what may, on first sight, seem completely unrelated. If we look at them really carefully, through our goggles, then maybe we can adapt and tweak them to enrich learning experiences in school.

The pieces here are too long to be blog-posts. They are available for you to download and refer to in your own time. It’ll take a while to develop this area but I hope it will be of use to visitors.

1. Expedition G&T

To start things off, this piece is an overview of how you might approach the task of leading the development of gifted and talented provision in your school. The reason it is on this page, however, is that, in the spirit of adaptation and tweaking, you should find that with a few tweaks, it can be equally applicable to leading any initiative in school.

Expedition G&T

2. The Learning Cycle

Next comes the full text (as it stands at the moment) of the three Learning Cycle blog posts. This is evidence of what happens when three Tweachers start discussing a shared experience, in this case, “The Road to Glory” programme and apply their Learning Goggles to what they hear. This extended conversation is set to continue and evolve into a fascinating project. I am sure more will be added in time. This is genuine evidence of impact of Twitter going into the classroom.

The Learning Cycle 1-4

3. Underground Learning

Yet again, Twitter has inspired me to put this up. I wrote a post about using PLTS to plan and assess learning, in particular, project based learning or extended projects and I produced a booklet to support it. So, here is the booklet for you to check out. I am also aware of how this way of visualising key moments in learning connects with The Aggregation of Marginal Gains. I am sure there will be more on this very soon…

Underground Learning with PLTS

4. Some myths about teaching and learning

I have to thank a couple of great colleagues who work at Cornwall Learning for reminding me of this little gem, Andy Brumby and Wendy Delf. n this Ofsted survey, ‘Moving English Forward’ (March 2012), there are some really useful explanations of what is meant by ‘Over-Teaching’. Pay special attention to the section on Pages 12-15 (points 15-19) and then have a look at the Marginal Learning Gains posts and MLG website to see what you think.

Moving English forward

5. Under the waterline

This document is the result of a joyful collaborative endeavour with a wonderful, and very shy and self-effacing colleague of mine with whom I do not get to spend nearly enough time these days. Anyway, about a year ago, we enjoyed one of our delightful unplanned chats that held us hostage to our own thinking, discussing and designing for over four hours until we encountered the time that is commonly referred to as, “AAGGH!-Is-THAT-the-time?-I’m-going-to-be-in-SO-much-trouble-!”.

We went our separate ways and this document for me, was the outcome. I have adapted and tweaked and shared this document with teachers around the landscape and now it is time for it to get its first exposure to you all in the edu-blogging world.

For me and the teachers who have used it with me, it works as a cracking illustration to demonstrate how a research-based approach, or ‘Research Thinking’ as I am beginning to refer to it, as second-to-none as a tool to shape and sharpen our thinking, whatever the subject. And, as a result, we’re so much better for it. Instead of providing us a with a detailed list of ‘teachable actions‘, Research Thinking as an integral part of professional development (learning) provides rich opportunities to design our own ‘learnable behaviours‘. The challenge comes when we need to address the really fixed, often dense, material that we encounter…such as Ofsted criteria for outstanding teaching.

So, after the conversation with my colleague, I wanted to really test the effectiveness of Research Thinking with the teachers who I get to work with around the country. So this one is all about the ‘O’ word…

Under the Water Line (GENERAL VERSION)

6. PLTS reflection log for students

This document is the result of collaborative work with a number of schools during a dedicated, ‘Language of Learning’ 2-year project. All of this came about as a result of the launch of the Personal Learning Thinking Skills…so it’s from a while ago. Since then, a huge body of work has been developed by fantastic educators around the UK in response to the opportunities that the PLTS provided. This is just one of the many resources that came from our own school-to-school project and as it keeps popping up and being re-used, I thought I’d include it here ready for your adaptation.

PLTS Student Learning Log

BEFORE YOU READ IT…I HAVE JUST ONE REQUEST: If you do download any of these resources and use them, if it makes you think differently, gives you new insight…please let me know? Be brave…post a comment or tweet me. I’d love to know the what happens next!


8 thoughts on “Learning Goggles

  1. Pingback: COORDINATOR/LEADER OF LEARNING | Pearltrees

  2. Pingback: Ensuring Impact: The Aggregation of Marginal Learning Gains | Full On Learning

  3. Hi, I am very much enjoying your blog. I’m going to try out the SO THAT approach to LO. You have a very engaging, reflective and eloquent style – so thank you. Looking at 5. Under the waterline I can’t seem to find the link…


  4. Thank you for sharing your ideas Zoe-enjoyed your book too! I like the term ‘teachable actions’ and have sent your document to our staff. We have been taking apart descriptors from the subject specific documents in depts. on inset day so that each dept has prepared its own lesson obs guide for outstanding learning and teaching rather than using a generic approach. I wanted them all to decide and give practical descriptions of what ‘outstanding progress, enthusiastic learners’ and all the other outstanding descriptors look like in a ‘real’ lesson-making them into user friendly teacher talk [and then into student speak] is difficult for some-yours will help! We make a big deal of the language of learning for our students but sometimes forget that the language of teaching is perhaps more important-you can’t have one without the other!
    I found Chris Hildrew’s booklets useful on his blog [their depts. had discussed what they considered great teaching and teachers to look like] and liked Tom Sherrington’s maths dept example of what they felt teaching should be like in maths-we produced something similar [as well as our obs form, which included dept and individual choices] and added desirable learning skills for our students in every subject so our classroom posters show the learning and teaching skills and qualities that both teachers and students should display. Keep up your thoughtful approach-it is appreciated.

    • Dear David,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment on the blog and I am really pleased that you enjoyed the book!I love what you say about the importance of language of learning. It is great to hear such positive feedback and to hear how the ideas you can find in the world of twitter and blogging are so powerful when connected together in the way that you describe.It is also fascinating to hear how thinking is adapted and developed in schools and in such a variety of different contexts. Thank you!
      Best wishes,

  5. Thank you! Having worked on the language of learning for students and staff [all staff not just teachers!] I’ve turned to trying to write blogs which engage our parents rather than personal ones for teachers. [although schools we support are invited to read them] I try to avoid too much jargon and as it is on the school web-site-no Gove jibes! It has a pleasing number of hits after advertising on the school bulletin but no one has had the courage to comment or contact me for a chat yet! Schools often have evenings to explain a bit of maths or revision but keep the majority of learning and teaching like a well guarded secret from parents-none of their business-they wouldn’t understand or be interested! We shouldn’t and they would!

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