Better Learners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing children's capacity to learn is at the forefront of all endeavours in schools. Teachers strive to capitalise on a wide range of teaching styles and innovations to stimulate, motivate and engage their children to become "better learners". Since September 1999, the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University has been undertaking a significant research and development programme which targets the heart of "better learning" (Bianchi, 2002). The concept of "personal capabilities" (PCs) has emerged to encapsulate the underlying skills and characteristics that help all children cope effectively with the academic and social needs of school and life in general. The research has involved over 35 schools, 75 teachers and approximately 2000 pupils in the Midlands and northern England. The development of PCs begins the process of children's self-improvement from an early age, by encouraging them to take personal responsibility for their learning. The research found that practising teachers consider this to be crucial for better learning and increased academic potential in science. However, while these capabilities are acknowledged as of major importance for children's learning, it seems that their development is hampered by the lack of explicit emphasis in subject teaching. This article provides a few ideas as to how teachers are currently developing PCs through science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalPrimary Science
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • teaching styles
  • learning strategies
  • science instruction
  • academic ability
  • student development
  • teacher role
  • self-evaluation


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