Your teacher training or professional development course will now probably include Masters level assessment and credits as teaching ‘becomes an M-level profession’ and a greater emphasis is placed on helping teachers develop deeper understandings about aspects of learning and teaching through a higher level of critical reflection.Learning and Teaching at M-Level will guide you through the various different aspects of doing M-level work at either the primary or secondary level, and help you to develop a deeper professional understanding. Your ability to research and understand learning environments will form a key part of making you an inquisitive and better teacher, and engagement with research underpins the book.  

Developing a Deeper Understanding of Learning

Developing a deeper understanding of learning

In this chapter you will explore:

  • Beliefs about learning
  • Metaphors for learning
  • ‘Folk'theories
  • What is learning?
  • Relationship of teaching and learning
  • Knowledge
  • Intelligence


We are all familiar with the concept of ‘learning’ although it has been suggested by Athey (1990), Claxton (1999) and Marton and Booth (1997) that sometimes even teachers’ conceptions of learning are often more closely aligned to what might be described as ‘folk theories’. Folk theories are a reference to those conceptions that are commonly held and espoused but often bear little resemblance to knowledge that is based on the conclusions of more robust empirical research. These ‘folk’ theories are referred to by Furnham (1988) as ‘lay’ theories and often exist at an implicit or tacit level, in other ...

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