Project:

Learning to Learn in Schools Phase 4 Evaluation

From May 2007 to April 2011
Project Leader(s): Kate Wall
Staff: : Viv Baumfield (Institute of Education, London University), Jill Clark, Elaine Hall, Steve Higgins (Durham University), David Leat, Rachel Lofthouse, Jo McShane, David Moseley, Lucy Tiplady, Pam Woolner
Contact: Dr Kate Wall
Sponsors: Campaign for Learning (www.campaignforlearning.org.uk)
Homepage: http://www.ecls.ncl.ac.uk/l2l4/

Aims

•To develop understanding of progression in learning to learn – knowledge, skills, dispositions and the development of learners’ autonomy

•To investigate issues in both scaling up and sustaining Learning to Learn as a development approach in schools (drawing in new schools to the existing network)

•To further understand the role of enquiry in teachers’ and pupils’ learning

•To develop the role of an Higher Education Institution as a co-learner in this process and supporting schools in networks

•To look at the potential influence of the family and the community on the development of pupils as lifelong learners.

Rationale

Learning to Learn in Schools Phase 3 has been successful in demonstrating that learning to learn approaches can support development in schools, the professional learning of teachers and the development of students’ understanding of their learning. However it has also raised some important questions about the role on enquiry in learning and how schools can be supported in undertaking this through networks and the support of HEIs. There are some indications of differential impact of different Learning to Learn approaches which also needs to be investigated further. In addition, perhaps the most important question is how involvement in Learning to Learn over time, has an impact on students’ and teachers’ views of themselves as learners, and how this, in turn, affects their knowledge and skills for learning to learn.

Key research themes

•Developing a language for learning: through collaborative learning approaches and the development of more effective feedback in lessons, pedagogical tools for learning and enquiry and investigating its impact on attainment, attitudes and autonomy

•Innovation and change: Comparison of new L2L schools with Phase 3 schools – teacher and student views; learning biographies; students’ metacognitive knowledge and skills; impact on attainment and achievement. looking at replicability and transferability of research findings.

•Exploring the role of technology: in supporting learning through enquiry, particularly to support reflection and action (e.g. use of video; weblogs; podcasting; e-portfolios) of students, teachers and researchers.

•The world beyond the school gates: exploration of how better relationships with parents can be developed; how communication about children’s learning can be increased; potential benefits of home/school partnerships.

Structure of the Project

The project will draw on the successful model developed in Phase 3 with local INSET for teachers, national residentials, and national and regional conferences to disseminate and validate the research as it progresses. Clusters of schools will be based on existing L2L networks and involve others new to the project. Specific sub-themes in the project are the role of parents and the wider community, the role of ICT, the development of talk and feedback for learning, the role of interaction in developing learners’ understanding. These themes will be pursued in each of the geographical clusters to support the development of the network.

Research Paradigm

The project will draw on the successful model developed in Phase 3 with local INSET for teachers, national residentials, and national and regional conferences to disseminate and validate the research as it progresses. Clusters of schools will be based on existing L2L networks and involve others new to the project. Specific sub-themes in the project are the role of parents and the wider community, the role of ICT, the development of talk and feedback for learning, the role of interaction in developing learners’ understanding. These themes will be pursued in each of the geographical clusters to support the development of the network. Of particular interest in Phase 4 will be the development of the L2L model as it continues in those schools from Phase 3 that continue to work with us: the longitudinal impacts of the project on learners, teachers, schools and wider communities as well as the sustainability of the approaches. This will be complemented by the experiences of the new schools that join the project at the start of Phase 4: how well the project model transfers and the extent to which it is replicable and how experienced L2L schools can act as more experienced ‘expert’ support.

Staff

Jill Clark
Senior Research Associate and Business Development Director for the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Professor David Leat
Prof of Curriculum Innovation

Rachel Lofthouse
Head of Teacher Learning and Development (Education Section)

Lucy Tiplady
CfLaT Research Associate

Dr Pamela Woolner
Lecturer in Education