intelligence is not fixed. We all have much greater potential for learning than is commonly recognised. Given the right opportunities we can all develop our ability to learn: the early years are vital, but the human mind is capable of lifelong change and development.


effort is as important as ability. Our actions as learners and as teachers are underpinned by our beliefs. A belief that intelligence is fixed undermines pupils’ motivation and causes teachers to lower their expectations of their pupils.


learning is strongly influenced by emotion. Heart, mind and body – thinking feeling and action – are inseparable. This is why motivation is so important in learning.   If we want academic achievement we have to attend to young people’s physical well-being as well as to how they feel about themselves, about school and about each other

4. we all learn in different ways. We have different abilities interests and preferred ways to learn. Good schools recognise the right of everyone to be different. They value all kinds of achievement and recognise that there can be no one ‘right’ way to teach or ‘best’ way to learn.

deep learning is an active process.  We learn best when we can make sense of what we are learning. The deeper the level of processing, the more likely we are to retain and make use of our knowledge.  Processing involves relating new information to what we already know and changing what we know in the light of that new information.

6. learning is messy. It does not happen at set times, at set places or in subject compartments. We rarely learn anything by proceeding along a single path to predetermined outcomes.
7. we learn from the company we keep. Although learning is something that goes on inside an individual’s head, at its deepest reaches it is essentially a communal activity: we learn most of what we know from and with each other .

Ian Smith

From a really good website

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