Teachers learning how to learn

James, Mary and McCormick, Robert (2009). Teachers learning how to learn. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(7) pp. 973–982.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.02.023


School pupils learning how to learn (LHTL), aimed at helping them develop learning autonomy, requires teachers to develop new classroom practices. Hence teachers LHTL is equally important. The TLRP ‘Learning How to Learn in Classrooms, Schools and Networks’ project researched how practices were developed by teachers in 40 primary and secondary schools in England. Quantitative data were collected using teacher and pupil questionnaires, and qualitative data came from interviews with head teachers, school project co-ordinators and a sub-sample of classroom teachers. Some teachers were also observed and video-recorded. External constraints made it difficult for teachers to promote pupils' learning autonomy, unless they fundamentally changed the nature of classroom tasks and climate. A key factor was teachers' own engagement in collaborative classroom-focused inquiry. However, to be successful, this needed to be supported by school management and leadership. There were strong statistical relationships between school policy, teachers' professional learning and their capacity to promote learning autonomy in their pupils. Teacher learning through networking within their schools, and with other teachers in other schools, was also shown to be important.

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