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Module 3: Pedagogy and Practice

Introduction to Module 3:

This module consists of 6 weeks of learning:

Week 1: Adaptive Teaching

Week 2: Exposition and Introducing Abstract Concepts

Week 3: Scaffolding and Modelling

Week 4: Metacognition

Week 5: Questioning

Week 6: Questioning and High Quality Teaching

The Learn that... and Learn how to statements covered within this module are captured on the ECF Induction Programme mapping document. 

Week 1: Adaptive Teaching

This week will focus on adaptive teaching, exploring the differences between adaptive teaching and differentiation as well as introducing useful tools to support adaptive practice.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research:

Adaptive teaching is less likely to be valuable if it causes the teacher to artificially create distinct tasks for different groups of pupils or to set lower expectations for particular pupils.

Until quite recently the prevailing trend was to create distinct tasks for different groups of pupils within the classroom as a differentiation technique, e.g. the teacher producing multiple versions of the same worksheet. Not only did this approach affect teacher workload, activities of this kind can place limits on pupil achievement.

Other popular differentiation strategies were to differentiate by time and differentiate by outcome.

With these strategies, teachers had different expectations of what pupils could complete in the allocated time and to what standard.


A consequence of this was a lowering of expectations of what pupils could and should achieve.

Your approach should be to have high expectations of every child, looking for ways to support each of them step by step to achieve the learning objectives.

There is a common misconception that pupils have distinct and identifiable learning styles. This is not supported by evidence and attempting to tailor lessons to learning styles is unlikely to be beneficial.

Learning styles theory was popular in education for some time with many people believing that individuals had a preferred learning style (e.g. auditory, visual, kinesthetic) and that pupils would learn better if taught in that predominant style.


This is not supported by any credible evidence (Willingham, 2010) and attempting to tailor lessons to learning styles is unlikely to be beneficial.

What is true is that learners are different from each other, and that these differences can affect their performance.

In claiming that learning styles do not exist, we are not saying that all learners are the same.


Rather, we assert that a certain number of dimensions (ability, background knowledge, interest) vary from person to person and are known to affect learning.


The emphasis on learning styles, we think, often comes at the cost of attention to these other important dimensions (Willingham, 2010).

Things to watch out for:

  • Being told that a pupil “learns best kinesthetically” and therefore should be allowed to wander around the classroom when they feel like it. There is very little evidence of successful interventions based on learning styles theory. (Willingham 2004)

  • Activities which claim to exercise pupils’ multiple intelligences, such as getting pupils to sing and dance when reciting times tables. Gardner (1995) describes such use of multiple intelligences as trivial. This is trivial because pupils are not really engaged in the thing they need to think hard about.

  • A colleague gives you advice to prepare three different versions of the same worked example, one which uses pictures, one which uses words and one which includes a video recording of yourself completing it so pupils have “choice” about how to study. Do not spend your time creating these resources ‒ one quality resource (e.g. talking pupils through a written example) will be better. (Education Development Trust, n.d)

Watch the short video below that introduces Adaptive Teaching:

(BOLD, 2020)

Adaptive teaching involves teaching the same lesson objectives to all students whilst providing scaffolds to support all students in making progress (Prospero, 2012).

It is important that the right balance is found in classrooms where we, as teachers, have high expectations of our students and create a learning environment where all can achieve, but deliver appropriate scaffolding and support when and where it is needed.

There are some key differences between adaptive teaching and differentiation:

Screenshot 2023-12-05 at 13.31.14.png

Read this Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Adaptive Teaching (Noon, 2023)

Click on the image below to listen to the podcast episode 'inclusive teaching and support strategies' on the Autism, Neurodiversity and Me Podcast.

Screenshot 2023-12-05 at 13.43.38.png

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Drawing on Noon's (2023) article, and the section on useful tools for adaptive teaching, select 2 tools to trial within your teaching this week.

Note how you utilised this approach and be prepared to discuss this at your mentor meeting.

Reflection and Discussion

Reflect upon what you have learnt this week.

How will you adapt your teaching to support the needs of your specific learners?

What practice do you already embed?

Reflect upon the two tools for adaptive teaching you utilised within your teaching this week.

What impact did these have on learning?

How might you need to further develop the use of these tools?


BOLD (2020) Adaptive Teaching: Rethinking the nature of learning in schools. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRqO30caJR0

Education Development Trust (no date) Adapting Teaching. Available at: https://support-for-early-career-teachers.education.gov.uk/education-development-trust/year-1-developing-effective-classroom-practice/spring-week-4-ect-theory/

Noon (2023) Adaptive Teaching: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide. Available at: https://thirdspacelearning.com/blog/adaptive-teaching/#8-what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-adaptive-teaching

Reed (2019) Inclusive Teaching and Support Strategies. Autism, Neurodiversity and Me Podcast.  Available at: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4kzw4pOiehY1ZBePB5Lu28

Week 2: Exposition & Introducing Abstract Concepts

This week will focus on exposition as a pedagogical strategy and how this strategy can support the teaching of abstract concepts.  We will explore techniques to support exposition to support the teaching of abstract concepts and you identify this within your own teaching as well as your colleagues'.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research:

What is exposition?

"Exposition is one of the most important strategies for teaching. It is ‘presentational talk’ by the teacher, including describing, explaining and demonstrating.


There are many things that students will find difficult to understand without teacher explanation, such as abstract concepts and things outside their direct experience.


It involves a teacher presenting information and explaining concepts and ideas to students, while they listen, think and respond to what the teacher says" (Geographical Association, 2013).

Take a moment to read this blog post about The Art of Teacher Exposition.

Often, students struggle to access abstract concepts.  It is not easy to understand something that we have not experienced , cannot picture or is not tangible e.g. algebra.  The key to supporting student in understanding abstract concepts is to firstly link the concept to a tangible, or concrete example.

Watch the video below, where Professor Brian Cox explains why time travels in one direction.  

When watching the video consider how Professor Cox using exposition to support us in learning, and understanding what is an abstract concept.

Teaching Abstract Concepts to Learners with Autism.

Learners with autism find abstract and conceptual thinking difficult with some learners being able to acquire abstract skills over time with others never achieving such.  It is therefore important to be mindful of when you are using abstract concepts and ensure that as much teaching as possible is 'concrete' and that the teaching of abstract concepts are supported with visual cues and manipulatives (Moreno & O'Neil, 2000)

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Observe a selection of lessons over the course of the week (not the entire lesson, but 15 minutes or so).

Use the form below to log the exposition techniques you observed that were used to support the teaching of abstract concepts. Include within this form the exposition techniques you have used too.

You can log all observations on the one form, and then consider how you might develop some of these techniques (further) within your practice.

Invite your mentor to use this form to conduct a short observation of one of your lessons, and discuss what they saw and what you intended!

Screenshot 2023-12-11 at 11.54.30.png

Reflection and Discussion

Reflect on your teaching this week.

Select a reflective framework and apply to this to your exposition.


Week 3: Scaffolding and Modelling

This week will focus on using modelling and scaffolding within our teaching to support effective adaptive practice. We will revisit what modelling and scaffolding are and what these might look like in our classroom whilst also having the opportunity to experiment and practice some different techniques.

Evidence and Research:

To achieve effective adaptive practice three key elements need to be embedded within your practice.  The are captured in the diagram below, and we will explore each of these within this module, starting, this week, with modelling and scaffolding.  Learning is enhanced when these techniques are built around a powerful context that acts as a 'hook' to gain the learner's attention and interest.  A powerful context will be introduced to you later on in this module as an example to pull together your learning.

Screenshot 2023-12-11 at 13.05.56.png


Modelling is a key component of your pedagogical strategies that enables learners to engage, learn and succeed whilst also remaining challenged.  

Essentially, modelling is 'seeing before doing' or in order words a form of demonstration.  By modelling a teacher reducing ambiguity and increases the chances of successful learning.

If a learner sees the teacher model something it enables them to build their learning around this model (Riches, 2019).

Modelling can also be undertaken peer to peer.

There are three different types of modelling.  These can be seen below:

Screenshot 2023-12-11 at 13.27.33.png

Watch this video by Teacher Toolkit which explores 7 lesson modelling tips:


The key ingredient of adaptive practice


Scaffolding focuses on making in the moment adaptations to support a child to meet the learning intention or goal.


This can be undertaken in a variety of ways, depending upon the activity, or learning taking place.  Some suggestions to scaffold learning for a child are:


  1. Adjust the level of challenge

  2. Change the way you explain something

  3. Re-explain a concept or explain differently

  4. Use an analogy that learners can relate to

  5. Increase scaffolding or remove any temporary support when necessary

  6. Provide extra examples alongside non-examples

  1. Read a text out loud

  2. Project or draw a diagram

  3. Clarify a task/provide steps

  4. Highlight essential content

  5. Use peer support

  6. Set an immediate goal

  7. Improve accessibility



To ‘diagnose’ whether you need to add or remove scaffolding you need to utilise formative assessment effectively.


Methods of formative assessment that will enable you, as the teacher, to identify the level of scaffolding needed include:

Screenshot 2023-12-11 at 13.37.59.png

There are a range of resources that can also be used or available for students that act as a scaffold:

Some specific ‘scaffolding’ pedagogies include:


  • Pre-teaching vocabulary

  • ‘Rally Robin – Give one, get one’

  • Make links across subjects and resources – giving pupils ‘hooks’

  • Small group work

  • Mini-plenaries

Watch this short video that summarises scaffolding using an analogy of a house build:

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Focus on one element of a lesson this week where you will model for your pupils.  Plan how you will model and use the tips within the Teacher Toolkit video in this planning.  Undertake the modelling.

Choose a scaffolding technique and use this within your teaching.

The help there is some guidance and advice on some of the techniques mentioned,  below:

The Benefits of Limitations of Writing Frames

Screenshot 2023-12-11 at 13.47.49.png

Graphic Organisers

Lexical Sets

Rally Robin/Give One Get One

Reflection and Discussion

Take some time to reflect upon the modelling and scaffolding you have undertaken in your teaching this week.

You may wish to use a reflective framework to support your reflections.

Be prepared to discuss these with your mentor.


Main, P. (2022) Modelling Learning> Structural Learning. Available at: https://www.structural-learning.com/post/modelling-learning

Richard, A. (2019) Effective Teacher Modelling. SecEd. Available at: https://www.sec-ed.co.uk/content/best-practice/effective-teacher-modelling/

Teacher Toolkit (2020) 7 Lesson Modelling Tips. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWRPGV-5c68&t=19s

Week 4: Metacognition

This week will revisit the concept of metacognition and explore its meaning and role within effective pedagogy and practice.   We will explore the importance of developing metacognitive and self-regulatory skills not only to support learning but also as important skills for modern life.  We will apply this learning to practice using scaffolding and modelling to support pupils in developing their metacognition.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research:

Put simply metacognition is 'thinking about thinking' which is also sometimes referred to as 'learning to learn'.  Metacognition is a powerful enabler to learning and supports learners to think about their own thoughts and when used effectively can transform their approach to learning and the challenges that learning, and indeed life throws at them.


Take a moment to re-visit what metacognition is by watching this short video:

Now, watch this TedX talk that explores why metacognition is an important skill for modern times:

The EEF (2021) produced this guidance report on Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning.  You may want to read through this:

Screenshot 2023-12-19 at 13.31.43.png

The poster below (which you can also download by clicking on it) summarises the key recommendations from the EEF report:

Screenshot 2023-12-14 at 17.44.50.png

There are 5 metacognitive strategies that can be particularly helpful for autistic students:

1. "Self-questioning (King, 1992): Encouraging self-directed questions can help pupils identify key information and activate their prior knowledge.

2. Visual organizers (Iovannone, Dunlap, Huber, & Kincaid, 2003): Using graphic organisers, visual schedules, or mind maps can help learners with autism plan and organise their thoughts, reducing extraneous load.

3. Modeling (Scull & Wheldall, 2005): Demonstrating and explaining the thought process behind problem-solving or decision-making can help individuals with autism understand and adopt metacognitive strategies.

4. Self-monitoring (Smith, et al., 2007): Teaching self-monitoring techniques, such as self-assessments and progress tracking, can help autistic pupils evaluate their progress and adjust their strategies as needed.

5. Reflection and evaluation: Encouraging reflection on the effectiveness of their strategies and evaluating their outcomes can help individuals with autism develop a deeper understanding of their learning process and identify areas for improvement (Tarricone, 2011)". (Inclusion, SEN and Parenting, n.d)

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Consider your own practice, and how you are supporting your pupils to develop their metacognitive skills and self-regulated learning.

Screenshot 2023-12-14 at 17.53.47.png
Screenshot 2023-12-19 at 13.28.08.png

(Bhatta, 2021)

(Queens University, Canada, n.d)

Using the process and relevant questions above,  scaffold metacognitive learning for your pupils.


Trial this approach for a specific activity. 


Model the process alongside your pupils taking them step by step through their learning and supporting them to think about their thinking and learning.  

You may want to embed one or more of the strategies to support your pupils that are listed in the Theory and Research section above.

Reflection and Discussion

Reflect upon the activity you chose to scaffold.

How did this support your pupils in learning to learn?

What challenges did you/the pupils face?  How might these be overcome?

Did you use any of the 5 strategies?  What was the impact of this?

How might you embed this approach more into your pedagogy?


Bhatta, S. (2021) Metacognition: Thinking about Thinking in The Scientific Teen. Available at: https://www.thescientificteen.org/post/metacognition-thinking-about-thinking

Conway-Smith, B. (2023) Metacognition: An Important Skill for Modern Times. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h68bS4c4kw0

Edutopia (2018) What's Metacognition and Why Does it Matter? Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJWsIJQHUxM

EEF (2021) Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning: Guidance Report. Available at: https://d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net/production/eef-guidance-reports/metacognition/EEF_Metacognition_and_self-regulated_learning.pdf?v=1702555287

EEF (2021) Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning: Summary of Recommendations. Available at: https://d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net/production/eef-guidance-reports/metacognition/Summary_of_recommendations_poster_2021-10-27-151056_qiiz_2021-10-29-074723_miux.pdf?v=1702555287

Inclusion, SEN and Parenting (no date) Metacognition and Autism: Cognitive Load and Metacognition Strategies. Available at: https://inclusiveteach.com/2023/05/21/metacognition-autism-cognitive-load-metacognitive-strategies/

Queens University Canada (no date) Teaching for Effective Learning. Available at: https://www.queensu.ca/teachingandlearning/modules/students/24_metacognition.html

Week 5: Questioning

This week will focus on questioning and takes a slightly different approach to previous learning by splitting the learning into three 'CPD sessions' on questioning with application activities as well as some reflection and review for each of the sessions.

There is a lot to work through this week, therefore part of this topic will continue into Week 6.

This week we will focus on daily and monthly review questioning and effective verbal questioning.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research: Daily and Monthly Review Questioning

We have looked at Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction previously and some of these principles will be familiar to you.  This week our focus will explore principles 1, 3, 6 and 10.

Take a look at The Science of Learning (Deans for Impact, 2015) and focus on Section5: What Motivates Students to Learn.  As you do consider the following:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 14.43.21.png

Also, take a look at The Learning Sciences, 10 Principles, below:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 14.45.07.png

You may begin to think about your own practice and pupils having looked at both these research documents.

Now take the time to watch the following professional development session on daily and monthly review questioning.

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Arrange a time to observe a colleague undertaking daily review questioning (or ask a colleague to observe you).

Meet ahead of the observation to discuss your plans.

Conduct the observation (this is only 5-8 minutes).  You may find this pro-forma useful.

Meet with your colleague to discuss the observation.  This is NOT feedback but a professional learning conversation.

Reflection and Discussion

Reflect upon your observation:

  • How did daily review questioning support learning?

  • How did this enable the teacher to make informed decisions about the lesson that was about to take place?

  • How will you adapt your practice having conducted this observation and engaged with the evidence and research around daily and monthly review questioning?

Evidence and Research: Verbal Questioning

Watch these two videos that focus on effective questioning.  There are some questions in your reflection and discussion section about these two videos.  You may want to engage with these as you go watch, or immediately after you have watched the videos.

Now watch the second professional development session on verbal questioning, below:

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Arrange a time to observe a colleague undertaking verbal questioning (or ask a colleague to observe you).

Meet ahead of the observation to discuss your plans.

Conduct the observation (this is only around 15-20 minutes).  You may find this pro-forma useful.

Meet with your colleague to discuss the observation.  This is NOT feedback but a professional learning conversation.

Reflection and Discussion

Reflecting on the Dylan Wiliam video:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 15.08.34.png

Reflecting on the Hayes Teaching and Learning video:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 15.15.01.png


Deans for Impact (2015) The Science of Learning. Available at: https://www.deansforimpact.org/files/assets/thescienceoflearning.pdf

Digital Promise (no date) The Learning Sciences: 10 key principles. Available at: https://researchmap.digitalpromise.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2018/12/SoLPoster_v2r2.pdf

Hayes Teaching and Learning (2019) Effective Questioning. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbPlwzmYcT4

Structural Learning (no date) Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction: A teacher's guide. Available at: https://www.structural-learning.com/post/rosenshines-principles-a-teachers-guide

Wiliam, D (2016) Questioning. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8bHMd3PosM&t=1s

Week 6: Questioning (part 3) & High Quality Teaching

This week will cover the final part of the three professional development sessions on questioning which focuses on written questioning as well as summarising what constitutes high quality teaching, particularly for pupils with SEN.  THis will draw upon the learning from this module and synthesise this to exemplify how each of the key elements work in harmony to support high quality teaching and learning.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research: Developing Written Questions

Consider the following questions in relation to your practice:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 17.23.30.png

Take a moment to read this short article questioning the value of extension tasks:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 17.27.07.png

Having read the article, think about these questions:

Screenshot 2024-01-05 at 10.02.20.png

Watch the third professional development session which focuses on written questions:

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Choose a forthcoming lesson and utilise your learning to plan the written questions for this lesson.

Consider the construct of the questions, graduated questions, differentiated questions, inclusion of prior learning...

You may find the question matrix and Teacher Toolkit's 12 Questioning Strategies (below) useful to help you plan.

Conduct the lesson and perhaps use this as your termly observation with your mentor.

Reflection and Discussion

Reflect on your planned lesson.

Reflect on how the questions developed the student's learning, how you may build on these in the future and the areas you might develop further.  


You may find this pro-forma useful.

Evidence and Research: Quality Teaching and Learning

The diagram below summarises the learning from this module, linking the key elements of effective teaching together:

Screenshot 2024-01-05 at 10.35.32.png

N.B: We will explore assessment and feedback in a later module.

Following the above cycle will support you in developing high quality learning and teaching within your classroom.  However, effectively engaging with this cycle in isolation will not result in the best possible learning and teaching.

There are other key elements that underpin this cycle.  These have been covered in the previous modules and come together to enable positive learning and teaching which has significant impact:

  • Create a Positive Learning Environment - ensure that the best possible environment is established that is safe and accessible and which supports positive behaviour for learning.

  • Understand how pupils learn - be aware of cognitive load and support long-term memory as part of the learning process and plan for, and address misconceptions.

  • Develop literacy - not only in the teaching of English lessons but across the curriculum.

  • Adaptive Teaching - adapt teaching to meet the needs and interests of your pupils and ensure the appropriate level of challenge is offered that engages and motivates pupils.

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

This week, you are likely to have your termly observation with your mentor.

Apply the above cycle to your teaching and learning processes for this lesson.

Reflection and Discussion

Using a chosen reflective framework, critically reflect upon your observed lesson with a specific focus on this module's areas of learning.

Remember to unpick the aspects that were positive and went well first, before zoning in on the areas you would like to further develop.

Be prepared to share this reflection in your weekly mentor meeting.


Stauntson, H. (2019) Differentiation: Why I hate extension tasks. In TES 27 Dec 2019. Available at: https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/differentiation-why-i-hate-extension-tasks

Teacher Toolkit (2022) 12 Questioning Strategies.  Available at: https://www.teachertoolkit.co.uk/2022/05/09/12-questioning-strategies/

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