Given that this site specialises in giving practical support to busy teachers and subject leaders, you may be surprised to find a section on the theory of learning.  Well, don’t worry it is very short! With so much theory and so many research findings available it is unlikely that you will ever have a chance to read a fraction of it.  So for that reason I have distilled it all down to a few salient points which I think are too often overlooked, despite the fact that they have been in the public domain for nearly fifty years.  Although you will see the influence of Bruner and Vygotsky in particular, I would be doing them a disservice if I summarised their ideas as briefly as this.  They are the two whose views carry most weight, in my opinion.

What are the key messages then?

  1. Pupils need to be engaged emotionally and intellectually if learning is going to go deep.
  2. So, spend as much time as possible thinking of ways to motivate learners at the start of the history enquiry, to re-engage them at times during each session, and to think of motivating products as a means of pupils communicating their
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