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Learning to learn

This section draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support teachers as they consider the learning to learn principle. 

School examples

Primary examples | Secondary examples | General

Primary examples

Creating learning spaces
Anne Kenneally has spent this year experimenting with student designed learning spaces, allowing the students to take the lead in deciding what spaces they need for different activities.

Inquiry learning: From knowledge to understanding
How do you use inquiry learning to move from knowledge to understanding? Vic Hygate, from Windsor School, explains how she carefully focuses her planning, then uses events and provocative statements to make learning relevant and fully engage her students.


Teaching and learning at Halsey Drive School
Teachers at Halsey Drive School have developed a concept-based curriculum which features a process of learning (inquiry) and a langage of learning (SOLO).

Students at Green Island School.

Exploring the principles at Green Island School
The staff at Green Island School in Dunedin examined The New Zealand Curriculum principles from the perspective of their beliefs about learning. Their exploration began with "Learning to Learn".

Learning conversations at Kelburn Normal School
Teachers discuss learning conversations and empowering students - the emergence of student voice highlights the success of these conversations.

Effective pedagogy at Ilam School
School leaders and teachers talk about developing a coherent approach to teaching and learning across the school.

Teachers talk about assessment for learning – Mangere Bridge School
Teachers from Mangere Bridge School talk about sharing assessment data with students. There are links to related videos on next learning steps and helping students take ownership of their learning.

Secondary examples

Andrew Savage.

Rich questions in history
Andrew Savage discusses how his department decided to place ideas at the centre of their courses rather than content. He explains that history is a contested topic and there are multiple ways of understanding the past.  

Students in art class.

Feedback and critique in art
Nikki Maetzig and Matt Jarry explain the process they use in their art department to help students manage their time and drive their own learning. This process supports students to give and receive effective feedback and critique in order to make improvements to their own work and meet deadlines. 

Feedback in a secondary art class
Nikki Maetzig discusses learning to learn in the context of her art classes where students learn how to give and receive feedback. Criticism is an important skill for artists, and the skill of effective critique supports students to be self reflective, plan for improvement in their own work, and to ask each other for help.  

Learning to learn: A school-wide approach
Gregor Fountain found that the focus on learning to learn has de-centred the teachers a little as they need to be able to stand back and help the students develop the capacity to find their own answers. He also challenges us to think about what learning to learn might look like in different learning areas. 

Te Ao Whanui – local participation, global confidence
Anne Sturgess and students explain how a year 10 social studies programme, Te Ao Whanui – local participation, global confidence, supported them to be autonomous learners, understand global issues, and make a real contribution to their community.

Creating a culture of support at Hauraki Plains College
The staff and students at Hauraki Plains College discuss developing river groups to support students and to encourage them to take responsibility for their learning throughout their years at secondary school.

Te Kotahitanga at Alfriston College
Leaders and teachers from Alfriston College talk about the alignment between Te Kotahitanga and school wide systems and structures to ensure a focus on Māori achievement.


Narrative assessment – special education needs examples
This case study features Allenvale Special School where teachers, students, and parents talk about using narrative assessment to inform learning.

Effective teaching for Pasifika students
This video collection explores ways to create student-centred learning environments.

Published on: 26 Mar 2012