Teaching Thinking: Past and Present
Taken from Learning to Behave: Curriculum &
Whole School Management Approaches to discipline Edited by Neville
Jones & Eileen Baglin Jones. (1992) Kogan Page. London
The task is to produce a changed environment for learning - an
environment in which there is a new relationship between students
and their subject matter, in which knowledge and skill become objects
of interrogation, enquiry and extrapolation. As individuals acquire
knowledge, they should also be empowered to think and reason. (Glaser,
We live in times of rapid social and technological change. In some
fields new information becomes obsolete within weeks, days or even
hours. Indeed, the knowledge explosion has reached the point where
as Toffler (1970) implied, the future arrived yesterday. For many
of us, our everyday circumstances change so frequently that we could
be forgiven for feeling like Alice in Wonderland who replying to
the question, 'Who are you?' con-fessed:
I - I hardly know, sir, at present - at least I know who I was
when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several
times since then. (Lewis Carroll, 1911)
What does this time of change mean for education? Knowledge is
accumulating at such a rate that it is impossible to learn every-thing.
Moreover, as knowledge is transitory, it is difficult to predict
what will be useful for the future or what to select to learn. Therefore,
we must teach children how to think and learn i.e. equip them with
the basic attitudes, beliefs, skills and resources necessary to
tackle fresh problems and acquire new information.
This does not imply that we should teach general thinking and problem
solving skills separate to or at the expense of knowledge acquisition.
Indeed, the ability to think and reason is context related and knowledge
dependent. For instance, one cannot expect pupils to understand
and apply the principles of classification without having 'expert'
knowledge about the subject matter to be classified. Nevertheless,
at the present time, many pupils perceive learning as a series of
unrelated and discrete experiences. Skills and procedures with the
potential for generalization become contextually welded to the circumstances
in which they are learned. It is as though each task is treated
as an entirely novel experience rather than one that builds on previous
learning. What ought to be a continuous learning process can become
an erratic and episodic experience with pupils being unable to make
links between past and present learning, either within or between
Teaching how to learn needs to be an integral part of the whole
curriculum with both pupils and teachers appreciating interrelationships
between content and process issues across subjects. Given the knowledge
explosion we are facing, it does seem essential that curriculum
planners should make greater efforts to select and organize what
to teach so that factual and procedural knowledge acquired in one
subject supports learning and development in other subjects.
Interestingly, this problem has been recognized for some years in
the vocational training field where much time and energy has been
spent on researching ways of training for transfer i.e. training
in such a way that skills and ideas acquired in one context are
readily applied to a range of new contexts. A major study by Wolf
(1990) has highlighted that transfer can be enhanced by giving trainees
many and varied experiences beyond their voca-tional area and using
whole complex tasks (rather than teaching sub-skills remote from
real life problems). At the same time, considerable energy has been
spent on identifying and teaching core skills i.e. skills and procedural
knowledge common to many different jobs and contexts. This rests
on the theory that if these basic generic skills can be taught,
young adults will become more flexible and adaptable learners able
to acquire new skills and fresh knowledge easily as the need arises.
Recently, the Government has recognized the importance of establishing
a more coherent and integrated framework for post 16 academic and
vocational qualifications. In response to the Secretary of State
for Education, the National Curriculum Council published a discussion
document: 'Core Skills 16-19' (Graham, 1990) and a parallel report,
'Common Learning Outcomes: Core Skills in A/AS Levels and NCVQs'
was published by The National Council for Vocational Qualifications
(Jessup, 1990). Amongst other things, both reports strongly emphasize
the importance of identifying, developing and assessing skills associated
with communication, personal autonomy and problem solving.
Curiously, the National Curriculum barely addresses these issues.
Indeed, it still reflects much of the compartmentalism that
has existed in schools for years. The orders for the core and foundation
subjects contain loose statements about selected aspects of declarative
and procedural knowledge deemed essential by each of the subject
working parties. Within the subjects, areas of knowledge have been
grouped into attainment targets and levels of difficulty but there
is no coherent integrative plan that maps relationships between
content and process issues within and across the various subjects.
Of course, core skills are already addressed haphazardly in schools
but it is rare to find these general transferable issues being considered
as central to curriculum planning. However, there is a growing interest
in a variety of intellectual and/or social skills training programmes
that attempt to tackle core skills in a more systematic and comprehensive
way. The Somerset Thinking Skills Course (STSC) provides an important
example of one of the many approaches currently in use throughout
the UK. This chapter will review theoretical and practical issues
associated with the development and application of STSC and consider
the signifi-cance of the programme for schools today.
TEACHING THINKING - HISTORICAL ISSUES
You teach science; well and good; I am busy fashioning the tools
for its acquisition . . . . (Rousseau, 1762, p.90)
The idea of teaching thinking
skills dates back to the time of Socrates and Plato and has been championed
by philosophers and educationalists throughout the centuries. There
has always been a debate about the merits of directive versus experiential
learning, and rote learning versus learning through understanding.
Rote learning approaches with their emphasis on instruction and direction
do have the advantage of ensuring the acquisition of particular facts
and routines. All too often though, such learning lacks understanding,
is short term and situation specific. More experiential, facilitative
approaches can create the circumstances for deeper understanding but
nevertheless require more time, effort and planning to ensure that
pupils acquire the intended knowledge, concepts and skills. Nowadays,
most teachers recognize the importance of experiential and interactive
approa-ches to learning and for many, Socratic dialogue has become
the cornerstone of their approach. Nevertheless, sufficient attention
is rarely given to the structure and organization of learning. Interactive
approaches alone do not lead to better understanding.
Another common debate has centred around what should be taught and
in particular, the wider benefits of teaching certain subjects. For
example, educationalists have suggested that the study of subjects
such as mathematics, logic or Latin can prepare
pupils for other learning tasks. Indeed, during the discussion stages
of the National Curriculum the Secretary of State was lobbied on these
matters by various subject interest groups. The relevance of Latin
has been given fresh significance by 'Lingo', a programme for schools
by Spooner (1988) which explores the etymological roots of our language,
thereby helping pupils to appreciate the structure and meaning of
important words necess-ary for coping with the concepts that are fundamental
to progress in learning.
At the beginning of this century, study skills were in vogue. Numerous
books and manuals were published providing tips and guidance on issues
such as how to pass examinations and methods of memorizing. All too
often, advice was too general to be of use and in any case applied
too late in the school career when habits and routines were already
well established. Much of this advice lacked any theoretical or empirical
basis. In spite of this, study skills are still popular, with many
of the old ideas revamped, repackaged and passed on as enduring truths
(Nisbet and Shucksmith, 1986).
However, serious attempts to teach pupils how to learn have been hampered
by deeply entrenched views about the nature of intelligence. For many,
the ability to learn has been viewed as an immodifiable expression
of a fixed and inherited quantity of intelli-gence. This view has
not only been popular in educational circles but also in society at
large. Even before children come to school, many have been labelled
by their parents as bright or slow. All too often, this labelling
process continues throughout the school years and becomes a self-fulfilling
Enduring myths about the immutability of intelligence have been perpetuated
by the numerous tests that have been designed to measure this hypothetical
construct. Although intelligence tests are at best indicators of previous
learning they have been regarded by many as being able to indicate
potential for learning. Moreover, even though numerous studies have
indicated the dramatic influence of educational experience on IQs
(Clarke and Clarke, 1976) outmoded notions about the invariant nature
of IQs still persist.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS - RESEARCH AND THEORY
Nevertheless, there are grounds for optimism. The limitations of
IQs are now being widely recognized and new ways of assessing potential
for learning are being explored through the dynamic testing movement
(Lidz, 1987). The old Piagetian notion that children will learn
when they are ready is now being replaced by a much more active
and positive Vygotskian premise that
intellectual development is an outcome of educational experience
rather than a necessary prerequisite for it. Increasingly, the significance
of social interaction in learning is being recognized by schools
with far more emphasis being placed on work undertaken in small
groups. Finally, the crucial role of language as a mediator of learning
and a regulator of behaviour is highlighted in the National Oracy
Project and in the Statutory Orders for the English National Curriculum
These developments also coincide with an explosive growth in research
on metacognition (an individual's conscious awareness of his own
thought processes). Campione, et al. (1982) have demon-strated that
young children and older low achievers are far less knowledgeable
than adults or high achievers about methods of learning and problem
solving. It has been suggested that the key to successful learning
may depend upon helping learners to acquire a broader repertoire
of cognitive strategies and gain conscious control over them. Of
course this in turn depends upon being able to identify and define
widely applicable (core) problem solving strategies. This is no
easy matter (for a detailed discussion see Blagg, 1990).
Information processing analyses of intelligence have attempted to
identify important mental processes underlying numerous intellectual
tasks. This has led to many different suggestions about the nature
of metacognition with each researcher using his own specialist language
and terms of reference. As yet, there is no commonly agreed taxonomy
of cognitive skills nor even an agreed list of essential skills.
Nevertheless, as Nisbet and Shucksmith (1986) and Blagg (1990) point
out, there is broad agreement in the literature on the main domains
that need attention. One can distinguish between two broad groups
of teachable, cognitive skills referred to in STSC as:
cognitive resources (specific
lower order skills and tech-niques); and
cognitive strategies (co-ordinated
sequences of skills and procedures selected for a particular purpose).
Research evidence is accumulating to suggest that both resources
and strategies can be taught and there are many positive sugges-tions
on ways of ensuring that such skills and procedures transfer to
fresh learning contexts (Blagg, 1990).
THE SOMERSET LOWER ATTAINING PUPILS PROJECT (LAPP)
The Somerset LAPP which began
in 1983 involved three elements:
1. A programme of residential and community enabling experiences.
2. The implementation and evaluation of an intellectual skills training
programme known as Instrumental Enrichment (Feuerstein, et al., 1980).
3. A series of teacher secondments exploring new ways of adapting
and developing aspects of the school curriculum to help lower achieving
The project was located in Bridgwater and involved fourth and fifth
year pupils and their teachers from the four mainstream secondary
schools in the town. Extra resources, favourable teach-ing ratios
and scale posts were made available in each of the project schools
to facilitate the development of the project. Dr Nigel Blagg was
appointed as the evaluator of the Instrumental Enrichment (IE) component
of LAPP and Mike Baxter co-ordi-nated and evaluated the other elements
of the project.
The IE evaluation started at the beginning of 1984 during the second
year of the project. By that stage, some of the initial teething
problems associated with a rapid implementation had been ironed
out and teachers were beginning to come to terms with an unfamiliar,
abstract curriculum. The evaluation was extensive, involving both
experimental and control groups for both pupils and teachers. Approximately
250 pupils and 30 teachers were tested pre and post on a range of
cognitive, behavioural and attitudinal measures. Some of these measures
involved existing standardized procedures and others were specially
developed for the evaluation (Blagg, 1990). In addition, observational
data were gathered throughout the two year study and anecdotal information
was gathered via termly diaries kept by teachers and loosely structured
interviews with each teacher and a sample of the pupils. The findings
and implications of this study have been reported in Blagg (1990).
Towards the end of the first year of the IE evaluation, detailed
observations of both pupils and teachers highlighted some of the
benefits and drawbacks of IE. Certainly from the teachers' point
of view, involvement with IE and the underlying theoretical ideas
generated much careful thought and analysis about the nature of
teaching and the process of learning. Many teachers began to appreciate
basic deficiencies in pupils which they had previously chosen to
ignore or had failed to notice. Within the IE programme, basic cognitive
skills and issues were exposed, developed and practised. Many of
these skills (e.g. the ability to compare and classify; analyse
and synthesize; recognize and define tasks with reference to both
implicit and explicit information) were seen to be fundamental across
Nevertheless, although pupils became conscious of these kinds of
skills whilst managing abstract IE tasks there was little evidence
of pupils transferring the processes to other curriculum areas.
Perhaps this was not surprising given the problems teachers experienced
in providing examples of suitable 'bridging' activities to help
pupils apply IE skills to everyday life. In addition, other concerns
about IF were beginning to surface. For example, pupils complained
that some of the materials were inappropriate to their age and interests
and that there was too much repetition creating boredom. In the
main, IF tasks called for a serialistic, analytic approach. This
was fine for impulsive children who needed to learn to be more reflective
but not so good for those pupils who were already over-reflective,
perfectionistic and anxious about making mistakes. Moreover, the
contextually bare, 'IQ-like' appearance of the IF exercises and
the heavily prescriptive nature of the programme meant that it was
a fairly inflexible 'bolt-on' curriculum that was difficult to integrate
with other subjects.
It was clear that even if the post-test data were to demonstrate
unequivocally positive benefits to pupils and teachers, it would
be unlikely that the programmes would be disseminated widely once
special funding had been withdrawn. The purchase of the pro-gramme
was costly; the exercises could not be photocopied so that each
year, fresh materials for each pupil would need to be purchased;
the abstract and very unfamiliar nature of the mater-ials meant
that lengthy training was essential and in any case, this was a
condition of purchase and use i.e. it was not enough for one teacher
to be trained in a school and then train and support others. Thus,
it was estimated that the annual purchase costs and training implications
for IF would put the programme outside the scope of most school
and LEA budgets.
It was for these and many other reasons that Somerset established
a curriculum team in 1985 to develop and pilot materials and training
workshops for our own thinking skills course, tailored to meet mainstream
secondary school needs. In the early stages of this work it was
decided to create activities that would be suitable for pupils from
11 to 16 years throughout the mainstream ability range. Feedback
on the materials from both experienced IF teachers and those new
to cognitive skills work was very positive. It was heartening to
see the kinds of teacher change issues noticeable in the early stages
of IF were now being duplicated with our own materials. Pupil reaction
to the pro-gramme was also very enthusiastic, especially amongst
mixed ability pupils in the first three years of secondary school.
So far, a handbook and six modules have been published with a further
two modules in preparation.
THE SOMERSET THINKING SKILLS COURSE (STSC)
The STSC has been designed
with a major goal in mind: to help pupils become more effective learners.
There are a number of specific aims underlying this general aim:
1. To enhance self-esteem.
2. To promote positive attitudes and beliefs about being able to learn
3. To heighten awareness of learning styles and the need to adjust
them according to differing demands.
4. To enhance ability to communicate ideas accurately and clearly.
5. To teach basic cognitive resources underpinning problem-solving
6. To develop awareness and control over the use of problem-solving
7. To transform passive recipients of information into active searchers
and generators of ideas.
8. To facilitate the ability to transfer and generalize ideas across
many different contexts. (Blagg, et al., 1988a)
These specific aims relate to the core skill domains emphasized
in Graham (1990) and Jessup (1990) i.e. personal autonomy, commu-nication
skills and problem-solving abilities, as Figure 8.1 illus-trates.
Many of the factors that influenced
STSC design have already been alluded to, including: lessons learned
from practical experience with IE; implications of recent theory and
research related to teaching for transfer and various curriculum trends
emphasizing interactive teaching approaches, problem solving, small
group work and oracy.
These different influences persuaded us to:
o include appropriate and
sufficient content in pupil activities to make STSC meaningful and
o produce teacher guidelines with enough detail to allow for distanced
o use a wide range of novel, visually based discussion tasks relatively
free from previous failure situations;
o emphasize small group work, enabling pupils to help one another,
compare and share ideas, and reflect on skills, procedures and solutions;
o include open-ended tasks allowing for various levels of inter-pretation,
multiple solutions and differentiation by outcome;
are exposed and integrated
in the STSC modules. For example, the ability to recall past experiences
to solve a current problem depends in part upon being able to compare
what is similar in the current situation with what has been experienced
previously. It may also depend upon being able to organize and categorize
events and experiences. These issues are explored in detail in Module
3, Comparative Thinking. Of course, sometimes pupils need to work
at a more abstract and sophisticated level. For example, in solving
a complex problem, they may need to refer back to a different but
analogous situation from which they can extract principles that would
be helpful with the current problem. Module 5, Understanding Analogies,
unpacks many of the issues involved in understanding and using analogical
Beyond these important skills, pupils also need to understand a whole
range of representational forms (both visual and verbal)
e.g. abbreviations, codes, symbols, conventions and reference systems
used in cartoons, pictures, charts, tables, graphs, maps and so on.
They also need to appreciate concepts and conventions in time and
space to allow for reflection, anticipation, ordering, prioritizing
The importance of appropriate linguistic skills cannot be over-estimated.
At a very simple level pupils need to possess the technical vocabulary
to distinguish between objects and events and describe aspects of
their experience accurately and clearly. Yet so often, low attainers
are denied important vocabulary because it is regarded as too difficult
for them to understand. All pupils need to gain a full command of
language in its many forms, functions and varieties. For these reasons
we have designed STSC tasks so that they demand the use of high level
oracy skills and provide opportunities to address the oral areas specified
by the English National Curriculum Committee:
to persuade: to explain; to
instruct; to entertain; to narrate; to speculate; to argue a case;
to report; to describe; to find out; to clarify or explore an issue;
to solve a problem; to interpret; to summarize; to evaluate; to reflect;
to announce; to criticize and respond to criticism. (English for Ages
5~16, DES (1989) para. 15.17)
Structure and organization of STSC
STSC involves a series of
visually based tasks organized into modular themes and arranged as
a spiralling linear model. As Figure 8.4 shows, the entire course
involves eight modules. The first four modules are concerned with
helping pupils to make connections between disparate aspects of their
experience in the 'here and now'. Modules 5 and 6 help pupils to make
and go beyond their present circumstances by appreciating many of
the subtle patterns and relationships that pervade our everyday lives.
Module 7 is a summative module that applies the skills, strategies
and principles established throughout the course to complex, everyday
problems. Module 8 (Organizing and Memor-izing) is intended as a supplementary
unit that can be used at any stage during the course.
Within the eight modules, each pupil activity is intended to focus
on particular learning style and resource issues. However, beyond
this each pupil task is in itself a problem solving activity which
requires that pupils register a problem exists, carefully define it
for themselves, generate and test their own plans and so on. The teacher's
role is that of sensitive mediator, providing minimal prompts as necessary
in order to ensure that pupils maintain maximum responsibility for
dealing with each task.
In tune with the literature on teaching for transfer, each module
contains a range of problem solving tasks presented in different modes
and styles and drawn from various content areas. The STSC activities
can be divided into three overlapping task types:
o stimulus activities;
o artificial tasks; and
o naturalistic tasks.
Stimulus activities are small
group discussion tasks which establish a meaningful context and theme
as a backcloth to the rest of the activities in each module. They
broaden pupil learning by offering numerous opportunities to explore
connections and associations between different areas of experience.
These tasks are quite complex and involve open-ended activities that
foster and encour-age imaginative and divergent interpretations which
need to be justified by reference to the information provided. Figure
8.5 provides an example of a stimulus task taken from Module 1 (Foundations
for Problem Solving).
Artificial tasks are contextually
restricted activities that expose, teach and practise particular cognitive
resources. Some of the tasks are 'closed' and require a very focused
serialistic approach to find one particular solution, whereas others
are more 'open-ended' and ambiguous with many alternative interpretations
and solutions. Figure 8.6 provides an example of a relatively closed
artificial task taken from the fourth module, Positions in Time and
Naturalistic tasks involve problem-solving activities that relate
to everyday life, enabling teachers to check for literal and figural
transfer of resources exposed and practised on the artificial and
stimulus tasks. Naturalistic tasks provide opportunities for the teacher
to identify and assist those:
o pupils who demonstrate a
knowledge of numerous cognitive resources but remain unable to select
and deploy them in appropriate problem-solving contexts;
o pupils who experience strategic difficulties because they still
have major gaps in their cognitive resources.
An example of a naturalistic
task is given in Figure 8.7. The eight modules can be summarized as
1. Foundations for Problem
Solving (Blagg et al., 1988a) represents the course in 'miniature'
and establishes the aims, format and conventions for STSC. It includes
activities that touch upon many of the resource and strategic issues
elaborated on in later parts of the course. The module concentrates
especially on the early stages of problem solving i.e. pro-cedures
and skills essential to gathering and organizing relevant information
and recognizing and defining problems. For instance, pupils learn
to scan and focus; distinguish between explicit and implicit information;
use systematic search strategies; describe and label essential features.
2. Analysing and Synthesising (Blagg et al, 1988b) - focuses more
specifically on the nature of analysis and synthesis in everyday life.
Pupil activities consider part - whole relationships in both structures
and operations and link understanding in this area to different forms
of instructions, error analysis and design issues. The final stages
of the module lead on to an appreciation of the interrelationships
between structure, function and aesthetics, finishing on a complex
mastery task in which pupils apply their numerous analytic skills
to an evaluative exercise related to the humaities.
3. Comparative Thinking (Blagg et al., 1988c) - distinguishes between
describing and comparing before developing the nature, meaning and
purpose of comparison. It explores the importance of comparative behaviour
in all kinds of decision making (e.g. selecting the most economic
buys in a super-market, choosing a holiday within various constraints,
etc.). The later stages of the module demonstrate how comparison forms
the basis of classification before going on to explore the nature
and purpose of classification in everyday life.
4. Positions in Time and Space (Blagg, et al., 1988d) - heightens
pupil awareness of temporal and spatial considerations at the heart
of planning and anticipating. The module exposes and integrates key
concepts and vocabulary relating to reference points in time and space.
Analytic behaviour is now enhanced with specific spatial labelling
systems and given a past-present future dimension. The later stages
of the module broaden the activities beyond physical issues into 'mental'
issues. In particular, the module considers how different people come
to adopt very different 'mental posi-tions' or viewpoints. This involves
exploring the nature of empathy and prejudice.
5. Understanding Analogies (Blagg, et al., 1989) - explores the nature
of symbolism and analogy in everyday life. The module considers comparative
principles involved in under-standing many transformations and relationships
(pictorial, figural and cartoon). The module shows how transforma-tions
can form the basis of understanding different kinds of analogies and
how analogy, metaphor and simile are related.
6. Patterns in Time and Space, (Blagg et al., 1990) - builds on Modules
4 and 5 (Positions in Time and Space and Understanding Analogies).
It explores the kinds of predictions one can make from understanding
temporal and spatial patterns and analogies. It includes tasks that
involve an appreciation of: the relationships between time, distance
and speed; complex planning and time management. 7. Organising and
Memorising (Blagg et al., 1991) - links with many of the ideas and
resources emphasized through-
out the course, with an explicit focus on techniques and strategies
to facilitate recalling, organizing and memorizing different types
of information. The module (supplementary to the rest of STSC) emphasizes
flexible strategic thinking through tasks that prompt pupils to consider
which types of organizing and memorizing techniques and resources
should be used for different purposes.
In many ways STSC was published
ahead of its time. The early modules pre-date the National Curriculum
and the recent debate about the need for accreditation of core skills
in both academic and vocational qualifications. Many of the issues
now being rehearsed in documents published by the National Curriculum
Council and the National Council for Vocational Qualifications have
already been explored intimately within STSC. Indeed, we have received
feedback from many schools throughout the UK who are now creatively
using STSC as a means of providing coherence to the National Curriculum,
helping pupils to see common process links between the core and foundation
In a number of schools, STSC has made a profound impact on the whole
curriculum. For example, in St Mary's School (Newcas-tle-upon-Tyne),
all pupils now participate in the Somerset Think-ing Skills Course.
The six modules published so far are infused throughout the curriculum
and taught in a planned sequence by different subject specialists.
Moreover, the interactive and metacognitive messages involved in STSC
have led to the adop-tion of many additional, exciting initiatives
in science, math-ematics, English and the humanities. Early, in-house
evaluations of this approach point to exciting benefits to both pupils
Delivery of the National Curriculum requires teachers to be confident
with interactive teaching styles and able both to assess and sensitively
facilitate children's development across many different areas of learning.
User testimonials from schools suggest that STSC has made a contribution
here as the following quotes indicate:
STSC is for us primarily a
diagnostic tool that has highlighted problems that we should have
been aware of ten years ago. . .
The course (STSC) has helped
to move staff away from their chalk and talk approach.
I never realized how important
is was to ask the right questions. Sometimes I kick myself because
I know I've lost the pupils for ten minutes by asking the wrong question.
We know of many studies exploring
the effects of STSC on both pupils and teachers. A study by Lake (1988)
compared the effects of using Lipman's Philosophy for Children Programme
with the first STSC module given under two conditions to mixed ability
10-12 year olds. The pupils (from one class) were randomly assigned
to three groups and independently assessed at the beginning of the
study and three months later on a factor analysed classroom observation
scale (known as the GHOST scale). In one group, STSC was used to develop
pupil knowledge of problem solving processes with an emphasis on discussion,
oracy and small group work. The second STSC group used the materials
as independent problem solving tasks with relatively little mediation,
discussion and reflection. The third group received Lipman's programme.
Put simply, the Lipman group showed a significant improvement in competence
with routine classroom tasks whereas the discussion-oriented STSC
group showed a significant improvement on the ability to deal with
complex tasks and the management of their own learning. The STSC group
that worked independently and received no media-tion did not show
any significant changes.
Recently, Ballinger (in preparation) completed a replication of one
aspect of Blagg's (1990) IE evaluation, exploring the effects of STSC
on teacher attitudinal change in two secondary schools. In common
with IE, STSC was found to have a profound and positive impact on
teacher attitudes both towards themselves as teachers and towards
the potential of low achieving adolescents.
Teachers involved in STSC look beyond their own subject disciplines
and become more conscious of promoting pupil under-standing of links
between different aspects of their schooling experience. Many STSC
teachers begin to take on responsibility for developing intellectual
skills in pupils as well as fostering academic achievement. Those
that take this responsibility ser-iously now recognize that many pupils
who appear 'less able' can be helped to go well beyond projected academic
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