Secondary learning
Secondary learning

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Secondary learning


In this free course, Secondary learning, you will examine some of the key debates and issues around knowledge, learning and pedagogy. You will have your own preconceptions about knowledge, learning, intelligence and the role of the teacher, and it is important that you are open to examining your views and to considering the evidence behind new developments. Section 1 considers the nature of knowledge. Section 2 focuses on learning and some of the main theories of learning. Section 3 considers the implications of these ideas for teaching and pedagogy.

This course is generic and is designed for people who are learning to be a teacher, are in their first few years of teaching, or who are working in an educational setting and are interested in learning more about some of the theory that underpins good teaching.

At the heart of education are knowledge and learning. Both are complex but how they are viewed has profound effects on what happens in formal educational settings such as classrooms. Together they are manifested in classroom ‘pedagogy’, defined as ‘the science and principles of teaching: instruction; training’ (The Chambers English Dictionary, 1983, p. 938). Leach and Moon (2008, p. 6) defined pedagogy as ‘a dynamic process informed by theories, beliefs and dialogue but only realised in the daily interactions of learners and teachers and real settings’. Pedagogy is essentially, therefore, what goes on in the classroom, underpinned by a complex mixture of the values, beliefs and past experiences of the teacher, as well as the context in which they are working.

How teachers teach depends on their views of knowledge and learning. A teacher, therefore, needs to be clear about the values and beliefs that underpin what he/she does. Learning to be a teacher involves examining and articulating beliefs about knowledge, the subject and how people learn. In this course you will examine ideas about knowledge and learning, and how these manifest themselves in the classroom.

Now listen to an introduction to this course by its author, Kris Stutchbury:

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As you work through the activities you will be encouraged to record your thoughts on an idea, an issue or a reading, and how it relates to your practice. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with colleagues. We therefore suggest that you use a notebook – either physical or electronic – to record your thoughts in a way in which they can easily be retrieved and re-visited. If you prefer, however, you can record your ideas in response boxes in the course. In order to do this, and to retrieve your responses, you will need to enrol on the course.

This OpenLearn course is part of a collection of Open University short courses for teachers and student teachers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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