Teach Learn

teach learn

I came across this image years ago and was initially simply struck by the clever symmetry of it.

I then began to reflect on the meaning of that symmetry. I believe that teaching and learning are two distinct components. You can ‘teach’ without any learning taking place and you can learn something without anyone teaching you.

However, in the school setting, we need to ensure that both elements are developed and improved in parallel. We do not want to focus purely on developing pedagogical practices without studying the complex science of learning. We need to improve in both realms. The Institute for Teaching paper ‘Learning; What is it and how might we catalyse it?’ (https://ift.education/learning-paper/) is a very helpful summary of the key considerations about improving learning. It is not just about ‘doing’ the right things but about knowing the best conditions within which to do them.

Looking again at the image, where LEARN is a clever reflection of TEACH, I am now struck by the possible unintended truth of this. What a child learns at school is actually a reflection of the quality of teaching.

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