Coaching Learning Behaviours / Dispositions in Pupils

Ask any group of teachers or school leaders what the habits of good learners are and they will generally reach a consensus. But teachers do not feel as confident in how to explicitly support pupils’ ‘learning behaviours’ in the classroom. As we teach these, developing and strengthening learning behaviours in our pupils, they become more motivated and determined to succeed.

“To flourish in this turbulent and tricky world, a strong, agile, curious mind is an essential.”
- Guy Claxton, Powering Up Children: The Learning Power Approach to Primary Teaching

Learning Behaviours or Dispositions?

Often described as a “Habit of Mind” ( Kallick & Costa) , which means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. Different educational systems across the world also refer to these as ‘learning behaviours’ or ‘intellectual behaviours’ or ‘learning dispositions.

They all refer to the way in which learners engage in and relate to the learning process. Learning dispositions affect how students approach learning and therefore the outcomes of their learning.

Learning Behaviours : the Research

Different research identifies different dispositions but there is consensus about the importance of the learning dispositions furthering skills, engagement, and deep understanding.

In the UK the EEF have identified effective learning behaviours in their guidance reports on improving behaviour, metacognition and self-regulated learning and special educational needs in mainstream schools.

Development of these behaviours is fundamental for students to develop an awareness of the way they learn and establish forward-facing attitudes to learning, critical if they are to be able to become lifelong learners.

Some commonly identified behaviours that are particularly important for ensuring students are prepared to thrive in their futures include:

  • Resilience & Perseverance
  • Agility and flexibility
  • Self-motivation and drive to learn
  • Metacognition (thinking about thinking)
  • Problem-solving and questioning

This INSET will examine how the research from across the globe into learning dispositions can be put into practice in the classroom, packed with strategies to train or coach your students to improve their intellectual behaviours and subsequently their learning outcomes.

Course Outline

Cultivating Resilience & Perseverance

  • Building pupils' resilience to setbacks
  • Incorporating opportunities for children to experience failure
  • Teaching children to persevere in a world of ‘virtual stone-throwers’ and against a backdrop of increasing mental health problems

Encouraging Agility and Flexibility

  • How do we improve mental agility?
  • Fighting sameness
  • Fostering intellectual humility
  • Getting children to ‘think outside the box’

Training pupils to be better Problem Solvers

  • How do we best install strategies for problem-solving?
  • How can we use different thinking taxonomies to increase our student’s depth of thinking?

Coaching Self-motivation and a drive to learn

  • Top 10 inspirational self-motivation tips for pupils
  • Developing self-awareness and self-regulation and their role in learning
  • Helping pupils understand the power of taking charge of their own learning and performance

Developing Metacognitive Skills

  • Turning pupils into metacognitive experts
  • 5 powerful ways to promote metacognitive awareness in the classroom
  • Developing reflective learners

To book your place, please email [email protected] with the title and date of the course along with your full name and school name.

Presenter Profile

Presenter John Medlicott

John Medlicott (@johnmedlicott) is the Director of JMC Education (, having held a number of key academic and pastoral leadership roles in schools and colleges. John still teaches in an Ofsted Outstanding School and has taught for over 20 years. As a teacher trainer & school improvement consultant he works with schools across the UK and internationally. He is regularly graded as “outstanding” by delegates on their evaluation forms. John has spoken recently on challenge and differentiation at a National Conference for Deputy Head teachers and is a regular Keynote speaker and workshop provider in School Leadership and Teaching and Learning.

Cost: £250 per delegate; £299 for 2 teachers from the same school booking on this course

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