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Developing the expert learner

Learner carring out an activity

'...developing the expert learner is the right focus for the Teaching and Learning Programme as a whole, but SHD is unique amongst the 17 Diploma lines in training learners to work in a sector that is subject to the public services reform and personalisation agenda. So, for SHD personalisation is not just about the learning experience, but is central to professional practice and the value base, and is therefore part of the content of the curriculum (for instance person centred planning)...' Summary statement from a workshop on Developing the expert learner with Society, health and development teachers.

The concept of the expert learner lies at the heart of these resources. When learners develop their ability to learn, they also develop skills that they can use every day for the rest of their lives. They learn how to find and interrogate new information, how to solve problems, how to co-operate with others and much more besides. Learning how to learn means that they can develop more quickly, allowing you as a teacher to see the benefits.

Every learner needs to feel in control of, and take responsibility for, their own learning. This means every learner should develop some expert learner characteristics, but this does not imply that all learners will take on all of the characteristics discussed. On this webpage, the term 'expert learner' is used with reference to all learners developing the expert characteristics that are right for them.

To explore in more depth what the concept might mean for you and your learners, look at the Developing the expert learner web resources available through the Teaching and Learning Programme area on QIA's Excellence Gateway. You will find:

  • inspiration in the form of real-life examples of what learning providers are doing already
  • CPD guidance to help think about what the concept of the expert learner can mean for you and your learners
  • CPD activities to help you get started
  • links to other relevant resources to explore.