Developing Independent Learners Training for Educators

“What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.”
(Source: George Land and Beth Jarman, Breaking Point and Beyond. San Francisco: Harper Business, 1993)

In this programme we seek to prove that the opposite is also true and that creative behaviour can not only be learned, but also taught. To achieve this we offer a blend of activities and materials that enable participants to understand and apply theories and definitions of creativity, and provide opportunities to build or rebuild creative capacities through reflection, playing with ideas and being playful.

Who is it for?

Developing Independent Learners is aimed at Primary and Secondary Teachers working in any subject but could easily apply to anybody who works as an educator.

Course Content

Each session is aimed at provoking thought with regards to shaping curriculum so that the Intent is focused on developing independent learners through creativity; the implications for how this intent might be Implemented and how the Impact might be evaluated.

Session 1
Focuses on Intent and aims to support teachers to think about their curriculum from the starting point of establishing sustainable improvement through developing the independent learning skills of pupils through creativity. It is framed as a first step in getting participants to think differently, and seeks to re-establish the ‘5 year old mind set’ in which 98% of us have genius levels of creativity.

This session explores a range of elements from active listening and working collaboratively, to problem solving and generating ideas using the mechanism of play, playing with ideas and reflection.

Although playful we make the content relevant by providing challenges that are within the context of the school in which we are working.

Session 2
The focus of session 2 is on Implementation and looks to drill down into exploring what creativity is and supporting participants to demystify the term. We explore definitions and support participants to define what it means to them and their school.

From this we use a range of experiential challenges to explore the types of behaviours and characteristics that make us creative, exploring how best to adopt these in a variety of contexts.

Session 3.1
This session is focussed on the pedagogical techniques that can support pupils’ independent learning and growth of creative competencies. It also explores the creative process and how this can add rigour and structure to learning episodes

Session 3.2
Part two is focussed on evaluating how learning is embedded into day to day practice and is built around an enquiry based approach to evaluation in which participants pose a question that they seek to answer and evidence through their day to day work.

Session 4
This Impact session focuses on participants presenting back the findings from their evaluations and team planning for how these findings might be used to embed practice throughout the school


These four modules can be delivered as 4 separate sessions (for example as twilights) or in2 sessions over the course of a whole day (for example as an INSET day).


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I found it all very inspirational.  The activities were superb – just what we needed as well after a days work, getting up and taking part and working together as a team.

“The connection with the game of tennis and challenges we face I found particularly useful for me as head and also the imagining St Mary’s as an animal – which I will develop further and ask children within the school to carry out which will help us in rewriting our mission and vision statement.”

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