1.1 LEARNING’S METAMORPHOSIS
In recent years learning has taken on a new and very different mantle from that with which earlier generations were presented. In the past the teacher took to the stage and provided the information and knowledge upon which students were examined and schools were rated. Those examinations, from KS2 and SATs to GCSE, held the key to a school’s reputation and competitiveness and were major contributors to parental and student pressure to perform.
Over the years, however, the emphasis on learning more has given way to helping students to learn better and ultimately to become better learners. It is becoming widely accepted that there is more to learning than merely the absorption of subject matter. Learning to learn is found to create a number of dispositions that have their root in 7 recognisable dimensions and research tells us that those dimensions are dynamic, can be managed, and importantly, affect the way we behave throughout life.
So, nowadays learning is as much about understanding, and being aware of, how we learn as it is about what we learn. Each of us has a much more influential role in managing our habits, behaviours and performance, both economically and socially than once we believed we had. Thus, teaching and the way we conduct ourselves as learners needs to go beyond subject matter to understanding how each of us learns and, thereby, taking ownership for what has increasingly become known as our Learning Power.