Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society: exploring the nature of learning and its implications in Curriculum for Excellence

Effie Maclellan, Rebecca Soden

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    This article is a psychologically informed conceptual analysis of what learning means. It argues that practice should draw on descriptions of learning in pedagogical research that have generated improvements similar to those that are being proposed in Curriculum for Excellence; Scotland's new curriculum for the 21st century. The article characterises learning in terms of four broad aptitudes (knowledge, strategy, metacognition and beliefs) which are fundamentally dependent on the individual learner's regulation of mental processes. It argues that without examination of how learners construct knowledge bases through thinking and reasoning, and the teachers’ role in facilitating such processes, it is unlikely that the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence can be fully realised.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-37
    Number of pages9
    JournalScottish Educational Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • learners
    • teaching
    • Curriculum for Excellence

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