Teaching and learning theory

The theories behind teaching and learning, and other useful CPD sites for teachers of literacy, numeracy, ESOL and Functional Skills. For specific Maths or English teaching CPD see our Level 5 Additional Diploma links.

InformED - Educational Blog

Submitted by Sarah Rosario on Tue, 2016-06-28 15:53

InformED is a learning and ideas blog by Open Colleges, an online education provider based in Sydney, Australia. A very useful portal for teachers, trainers and tutors to hunt-and-gather training news and industry insights into eLearning and Education Technology.

Topics covered include: interactive learning, study tips and trends in virtual education, tips for giving student feedback, experiential learning, and much more.

A huge set of extremely useful resources developed by Northern College as part of an LSIS project.

Entry 3 resource are split into four sections

  • Working with Whole Numbers and Simple Fractions
  • Working With Decimals And Money
  • Working With Measures, Shapes and Space
  • Working With Information From Lists, Tables, Charts And Graphs

Level 1 resources into five sections:

  • Working With Whole Numbers, Decimals, Fractions and Percentages
  • Using Simple Formulae
  • Using Simple Ratio And Proportion
  • Working

National Numeracy

Submitted by National Numeracy on Tue, 2012-09-18 12:16

The National Numeracy site has a great ’essentials of numeracy’ diagram which encapsulates the essential components in understanding numbers, the number system and the ways that numbers can be combined and used – to help learners decide on their own personal starting point and pathway to develop key skills in numeracy.

This is then broken down into 4 learning pathways – information handling and processing,

Learning Theories is a very useful index of learning theories and models. Includes pages on Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger), Situated Learning Theory (Lave) and much more.

A huge library of Mathematical Collections and Conference Proceedings. These do not appear to have been updated since 2006 but include: A sociocultural analysis of learning to teach (Merrilyn Goos) – where her three zone framework is discussed.

This is one of many Harvard references to useful online references that I used in the Level 5 Maths ADTLLS, Meeting a learner’s needs / case study assignment (Part of Module 1: Approaches to Mathematics learning and teaching).

Schuller, T., Brasset-Grunay, A., Green, A., Hammond, C. and Preston, J. (2002), Learning, Continuity and Change in Adult Life. London: Institute of Education. In: Coben, D. (2007), Effective Teaching and Learning: Numeracy. London: National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, p.25.

Communities of practice

Submitted by Maggie Harnew on Thu, 2011-02-17 18:37

Communities of practice is site run and written by Etienne Wenger (of Lave and Wenger fame!), a leading expert on communities of practice. Try this excellent quick starter diagram (PDF) to get your head round his theories and apply it to your teaching rationales, reflective diary, etc.

A great source of research papers and information such as: Linda Galligan’s Using Valsiner [zone theory] a study of numeracy in first year nursing students, Creating Learning Spaces (Merrilyn Goos), and Technology-Enriched Teaching of Secondary Mathematics: Factors Influencing Innovative Practice (Merrilyn Goos & Anne Bennison) which includes an analysis of Valsiner’s Zone Theory.


Submitted by Maggie Harnew on Thu, 2011-02-17 16:52

Maths4Life is now part of the Excellence Gateway and has loads of ideas for teaching and learning numeracy – along with related constructivist / connectivist theory. It’s also a fantastic source of printable resources and card based games – I keep the big yellow folder (all contents available on the site as PDF files) under my desk and refer to it often.

Also see our other Maths4Life and Excellence Gateway entries.

Learning concept menuLearning concept menuDon Clark’s (aka as Big Dog) pages are stuffed full of training, learning and leadership advice, including excellent sections on learning styles (VAK, Briggs, Gardner, Honey & Mumford, etc.).

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