Dimensions of Learning Overview 3

Centralian Senior College
Content or information,
facts and concepts:
things students know or
Processes or skills: things
students can do
Add and subtract
Write a paragraph
An amoeba
The conventions of punctuation
When oppression meets resistance,
conflict results
Set up an experiment
Read music
The rules of basketball
Shoot free throws
A numerator
What is the major
difference in how
we learn a concept
and a skill?
content and
skills and
articulates the difference between the types of
knowledge, how they relate to each other
defines different types of declarative knowledge
(descriptions, sequences, processes, episodes,
principles, concepts) and distinguishes between
macro and microprocesses (skills)
For each of the three processes involved in
acquiring and integrating knowledge (declarative
and procedural), DoL offers a collection of
strategies teachers can select from and a
suggested series of steps
Using knowledge requires more complex
reasoning processes than required by
Dimension 2 of learning (recall, reproduce
DoL’s identified 6 complex reasoning processes
that can be applied to help them use
knowledge meaningfully
For each, gives five steps in how to teach the
process so that students can learn how to do
it themselves . . .
Decision Making: generating and applying criteria to select from
among seemingly equal alternative
Problem Solving: overcoming constraints or limiting conditions
that are in the way of pursuing goals
Invention: developing unique products or processes that fulfil
perceived needs
Experimental Inquiry: generating and testing explanations of
observed phenomena
Investigation: identifying and resolving issues about which there
are confusions or contradictions
Systems Analysis: analysing the parts of a system and the
manner in which they interact
This occurs as learners examine and analyse knowledge
and information in a way that:
helps them make new connections
discover or rediscover meanings
gain new insights
clarify misconceptions
Results in learners being able to do more than recite
definitions and give other examples.
Involves them thinking about the information by using
reasoning process that are more complex than those
used to recognise or reproduce knowledge.
These processes CHANGE the knowledge they have.
Comparing: Indentifying and articulating similarities and
differences among items
Classifying: grouping things into definable categories on the
basis of their attributes
Abstracting: Identifying and articulating the underlying theme or
general pattern of information
Inductive Reasoning: inferring unknown generalisations or
principles from information or observations
Deductive Reasoning: Using generalistions and principles to
infer unstated conclusions about specific information or
Constructing Support: building systems of support for assertions
Analysing Errors: identifying and articulating errors in thinking
Analysing Perspectives: identifying multiple perspectives on an
issues and examining the reasons or logic behind each.
1. Help students understand the process: (the
function/goal of it)
2. Give students a model for the process, and create
opportunities for them to practice using the process. (the
steps involved and examples)
3. As students study and use the process, help them focus
on critical steps and difficult aspects of the process
(examples and suggestions of how to deal with elements)
4. Provide students with graphic organisers or
representations of the model to help them understand and
use the process
5. Use teacher-structured and student-structured tasks
(modeling to independent work)
Using DoL as the framework for a Professional Learning Project is working
well . . .
1. Identify the Issue: How can we improve students’ critical literacy skills
in English, specifically their ability to analyse a writer’s use of linguistic
and visual techniques to achieve their purpose and appeal to their
2. Plan the DoL Project:
 major issue for students as being the gap between their declarative
knowledge of the techniques writers use and their procedural ability to
analyse how a particular writer uses these techniques for specific effects.
 In DoL terms:
Able to gain and integrate the knowledge of techniques (they can explain
their purposes and give examples) – Dimension 2
Cannot use this knowledge meaningfully in new situations – Dimension 4.
In order to do this, we need to focus on Dimension 3, helping them to
extend and refine their knowledge.
explicitly teach that process as a way of getting
to grips with one aspect of extending and
refining their critical literacy knowledge
talk to each other about why we’ve chosen that
process and how we might use the
strategies/steps to teach it
use the specific steps given to construct learning
activities that teach using this process to think
more deeply about a critical literacy task
trial them and share the results
 Belinda:
Comparing and Inductive Reasoning
re: Color Purple
 Al:
Inductive Reasoning, Classifying,
Abstracting re: Lear and Critical Reading
Take 3 minutes to stop and think about where
next the school could go with this / any
implications for the more explicit whole
school teaching of complex reasoning
processes / any questions that need
 I could . . .
 We could . . .
 We would need to . . .
 Students might . . .
 The school would . . .
 We might . . .

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