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Putting learning at the heart of Classroom Cultures

To make Successful Futures a reality, teachers will need to surface the learning process; make students aware of their own learning behaviours. The palette of techniques teachers deploy to achieve this – what they do and say, what they notice and commend, how they model learning, and how they design and present activities – secures a learning-friendly classroom culture.


– Shifting how teachers relate to their students; gradually sharing more of the responsibility for learning with them.


  • Coach more, teach less.
  • Model learning processes.

So that learners:

  • Do more of the thinking.
  • Ask more questions.
  • Collaborate and talk about how they understand things.


– Shifting how teachers talk about learning; the sort of language content and style they use to enhance and explain learning.


  • Make learning the object of conversation.
  • Introduce a language of learning.

So that learners:

  • Become fluent in talking about the process of learning.
  • Apply the language of learning practically.
  • Talk more, and adults talk less!


– Shifting how teachers construct learning activities; the tasks and classroom routines they design to build positive learning habits.


  • Offer few ‘talk and chalk’ lessons.
  • Build review and reflection of the ‘how’ of learning into lessons.

So that learners:

  • Become regulators of their own learning.
  • Relish exploring knotty questions/problems.
  • Reflect on how they are learning.


Shifting what teachers celebrate about learning; what they prize, recognise, display; the outward signs of beliefs about learning.


  • Make learning the object of attention.
  • Flip the concept of failure — stuck, mistakes, etc. — to being positive.

So that learners:

  • Regard themselves as improving learners.
  • Value making mistakes, taking on feedback, rising to challenge.
  • Are conscious of their growth as a learner.

Where are you now?

Learning friendly cultures systematically cultivate learning habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty calmly, confidently and creatively. The focus moves from teaching to learning.

For learners, it’s a place where their role changes from receptivity to activity.

For teachers, a place where their role changes from delivering content to creating situations where students can learn.

Ask “How might we…”


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