Core Beliefs About Learning
Click on any of the blue bars below to learn more about each of our Core Beliefs.
- ONE: We believe that all humans want to learn, and that learning is an essential, innate, ongoing, and lifelong process.
- TWO: We believe that learning is a process of making meaning of the world.
- THREE: We believe that learners are unique and they are responsible for their own learning.
- FOUR: We believe that learning depends on being able to connect prior knowledge, perceptions, or patterns of experience to new experiences, new information, and contexts.
- FIVE: We believe that learning is profoundly influenced by social relationships.
- SIX: We believe that learning is significantly affected by emotions.
- SEVEN: We believe that self-perception directly affects motivation and learning.
- EIGHT: We believe that learning is more effective when information is embedded in purposeful and meaningful experiences and interactions.
- NINE: We believe that learning is contextual.
- TEN: We believe that learning is enhanced when learners are aware of how thinking and learning occur (meta-cognition), which gives learners increased control over their learning.
- ELEVEN: We believe that learning is demonstrated when learners can apply their understandings in new situations in flexible and thought-provoking ways.
- TWELVE: We believe that learning is complex and non-linear.
- Expect that all people can learn.
- Maintain appropriate expectations that challenge all learners.
- Share their passion for learning.
- Regard all interactions as teaching/learning opportunities.
- Model curiosity and persistence.
- The primary purpose for assessment is to improve learning.
- Assessment provides all learners with the capacity to demonstrate what they know, value, and are able to do.
- Are concerned with the development of understanding.
- Recognize that ideas are constructed and open to question or refinement.
- View curriculum as being based on key ideas or questions.
- Are patient with the time it takes to build meaning.
- Expose students to multiple perspectives and cultures.
- Assessment focuses on demonstrations of understanding that move beyond gathering and recalling information.
- Assessment is moderated through collaboration to enhance fairness, reliability, and validity.
- Recognize and respond to individual differences and learning styles.
- Demonstrate care for and understanding of each learner.
- Include and maximize the participation of learners of different abilities and backgrounds.
- Differentiate instruction through a relevant range of teaching approaches and strategies.
- Collaborate/communicate with learners about learning goals, activities, issues, and contexts.
- Learners self-assess and develop their capacity to monitor their own learning.
- Learners reflect upon and evaluate assessment tasks.
- Seek to discover what learners already know, value, and are able to do.
- Build on the diverse personal, social, and cultural experience, knowledge, and skills that learners bring to new learning.
- Make explicit the connections between different aspects of learning.
- Structure activities to challenge learners’ suppositions and preconceptions.
- Assist all learners in extending their levels of thinking and understanding.
- A range of assessments and monitoring processes are used to gather information about what learners know, value, and are able to do.
- Assessment about what learners know, value, and are able to do is used to plan teaching sequences and to diagnose areas for challenge and intervention.
- Assessment respects and includes different ways of knowing.
- Develop positive relationships with and between all involved in the learners’ learning.
- Build a sense of community, group identity, and appropriate learning partnerships.
- Plan for purposeful, collaborative teacher/teacher, teacher/learner, and learner/learner interaction.
- Maintain a sense of humor.
- Promote a sense of participation and responsibility from the local to the global.
- Assessment is fair, free from bias, and inclusive for all learners.
- Assessment incorporates judgments from learners, peers, and educators.
- Assessment includes the work of groups as well as individuals.
- Provide a consistently safe, positive, and secure environment.
- Acknowledge emotions and emotional contexts.
- When appropriate, make use of these contexts as opportunities for learning.
- Assessment includes the monitoring of learners’ emotional wellbeing.
- Learners monitor the extent to which emotions affect and influence their learning.
- Act intentionally, planning for interactions with learners.
- Make their intentions or expected outcomes clear and explicit to learners.
- Involve learners in goal setting.
- Connect what is being taught to hypothetical and real-life experiences.
- Relate what is being taught to learners’ experiences and interests.
- Engage learners in multi-sensory experiences.
- Learners are clear about what is being assessed.
- Assessment encourages learners to exhibit their actual understandings.
- Assessment is in itself a central learning experience.
- Assessment tasks are based where possible on real-world contexts and embedded in recurrent learning.
- Acknowledge that environment and culture influence learning.
- Consider how their own behavior influences the context for learning.
- Encourage multiple points of views or solutions.
- Encourage learners to recognize the context of their own learning and beliefs.
- Assessment takes different contexts into consideration.
- Design learning sequences that explicitly support the application and transfer of learning to new problems and settings.
- Draw attention to similarities, connections, and analogies between the known and the new.
- Assessment opportunities are designed to explicitly test learners’ ability to apply their learning in new and unfamiliar situations.
- Are intentional about learners’ extending, elaborating, reorganizing, reformulating, and reflecting upon their own frameworks of knowledge.
- Provide the time for this to happen.
- Recognize the educational potential in risk-taking, mistakes or errors.
- Encourage perseverance.
- Assessment encourages learners to reflect and question and to continuously plan for future learning.
- Learners note and use errors as a means of improving their own learning.
- Assessment products may vary widely to reflect different ways of demonstrating understanding.
* Based upon Principles of Learning, Teaching, and Assessment, Tasmanian Department of Education, Australia