Core Beliefs About Learning

We believe that: Therefore educators: Therefore:


  • Humans want to learn
  • Learning is an essential, innate,
    ongoing, and lifelong process
  • 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.


  • Learning is a process of making meaning of the world.
  • Are concerned with the development of understanding
  • Recognise 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 if 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.


  • Learners are unique and they are responsible for their own learning
  • Recognise and respond to individual differences and learning styles.
  • Demonstrate care for and understanding of each learner.
  • Include and maximise 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.


  • Learning depends on being able to connect prior knowledge, perceptions or patterns of experience to new experiences, new information, and contexts.
  • 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 & 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.


  • Learning is profoundly influenced by social relationships
  • Learning is an essential, innate,
    ongoing, and lifelong process
  • 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/learners, and learner/learner interaction.
  • Maintain a sense of humour
  • 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 judgements from learners, peers, and educato
  • Assessment includes the work of groups as well as individuals.


  • Learning is significantly affected by emotions.
  • 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 well-being
  • Learners monitor the extent to which emotions affect and influence their learning.


  • Self-perception directly affects motivation and learning
  • Communicate positive expectations and confidence in the learners’ abilities
  • Acknowledge and celebrate progress
  • Assessment provides timely, precise, and constructive feedback.


  • Learning is more effective when information is embedded in purposeful and meaningful experiences and interactions.
  • 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.


  • Learning is contextual
  • Acknowledge that environment and culture influence learning.
  • Consider how their own behaviour influences the context for learning
  • Encourage multiple points of views or solutions.
  • Encourage learners to recognise the context of their own learning and beliefs
  • Assessment takes different contexts into consideration.


  • Learning is enhanced when learners are aware of how thinking and learning occur (meta-cognition), which gives learners increased control over their learning
  • Explicitly teach thinking and learning strategies
  • Model meta-cognition.
  • Assessment encourages learners to question and reflect on their learning and their use of thinking and learning strategies


  • Learning is demonstrated when learners can apply their understandings in new situations in flexible and thought-provoking ways
  • 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.


  • Learning is complex and non-linear
  • Are intentional about learners’ extending, elaborating, reorganising, reformulating and reflecting upon their own frameworks of knowledge.
  • Provide the time for this to happen
  • Recognise 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.


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