Framework for Dialogue About Teaching

Understanding Learning and Development

This addresses how children learn and develop and encompasses:

  • Theories of learning and development - including understanding the significance of personal, emotional, social, cognitive, linguistic and cultural influences.
  • Progression - helping pupils broaden and deepen their understanding, including support for individual needs.
  • Assessment - understanding the purposes and application of formative, diagnostic and summative assessment.

Generic questions you could ask regarding this are:

  • How did you draw on your knowledge of pupils’ social and emotional development in planning this lesson?
  • How did you use your Professional Studies lecture about How Children Learn?
  • Have you drawn on any specific pupils' cultural backgrounds in this lesson? Were there any issues you needed to be sensitive to?
  • What did you learn about pupil’s language and language development in this lesson?
  • How did you ensure progression from a similar lesson on this topic earlier in the pupils’ education?
  • What evidence do you have that pupils were able to make progress in this lesson?
  • How were you able to support individual needs?
  • What were the assessment opportunities? Which methods did you use and why?
  • How does the structure of this lesson scaffold pupils’ learning?


Add some subject-specific questions, which might be related to the subject as a whole or to a particular topic within it.