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Succeed with learning

1.2 Case study 2: Angela’s story

Described image
Figure 3 Angela

What time is it? Three o’clock? No way! Where has the day gone? I did promise Grace her favourite meal today to cheer her up after her least favourite day at school. I don’t think she will ever be an Olympic athlete, even if she does get used to sports afternoon at her new school.

I’m really not too fussy about what she eats. I think if you are, then children can get really picky about their food. What is her favourite at the moment? I suppose it’s pizza. I’m not totally happy about this. It doesn’t seem much like a balanced meal to me – there’s no fruit or vegetables for one thing, and it’s high in fat. Maybe I could add a salad to it – that would add some vegetables to her diet.

(Some time later)

‘Mum, what are we having tonight? I’ve been looking forward to my dinner all day. They made us run around the track in this weather! I’ve been freezing ever since.’

‘I’ve made your favourite, Grace – pizza. I’ve added a salad – it’s good for you.’

‘Oh, Mum, I told you that was my old favourite. My friend Shona says it’s much healthier to be a vegetarian, so the salad is OK but I can’t have pizza – it’s got meat on it, doesn’t it? I told you last week I wanted to try those veggie sausages. Shona says they’re really good.’

‘Well, I don’t have any of those, but you’re in luck! The pizza is tomato and cheese.’

‘I guess that will have to do.’

‘Is that all the thanks I get?!’

Activity 2 Thinking about Angela’s story

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes for this activity.

Try to answer the following questions:

  1. What clues are there here about what Angela has learned in the past?
  2. Do you think she learned these from formal courses or from more everyday learning?

Jot down your thoughts.


As with Jim’s story, it’s likely that your answer will be a bit different from this one. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer.

  1. Angela’s story is about preparing a meal for her daughter. Yet for this seemingly simple task, she draws on a wide range of knowledge.

    She knows what constitutes a healthy diet; having learned the importance of fruit and vegetables, and that eating too much fat can be bad for us. She also has learned what subject Grace dislikes at school and has wider knowledge about things like the Olympics. Angela has also developed some cooking skills, and has learned to listen carefully to her daughter to keep up with her likes and dislikes. She could be said to have learned things that enable her to manage her daily life.

  2. Angela seems to have gained much of her knowledge simply from living with her daughter and getting to know her, rather than studying formal courses. Probably most of her other knowledge, such as about diets and the Olympics, she has also learned informally – from the TV and friends or family – although perhaps she may have taken a formal course in cooking or nutrition.

    Another important point which is highlighted in Angela’s story is how we are all learning all the time – it doesn’t stop!


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