Six steps to teach anything

1. The right state

  • orchestrate the environment
  • positive mood of teacher and student
  • affirm, anchor and focus
  • outcome and goal setting; what’s in it for me?
  • visualise your goals
  • regard mistakes as feedback
  • peripheral posters

2. The right presentation

  • get the big picture first, including field trips
  • use all learning styles and all intelligences
  • draw, Mind Map, visualise

3. Think about it

  • creative thinking
  • critical thinking – conceptual, analytical, reflective
  • creative problem solving
  • deep memory techniques for permanent storage
  • think about your thinking

4. Activate to draw out

  • to access material and bring out of storage
  • games, skits, discussions, plays, including all learning styles and all 7 intelligences

5. Apply it

  • use it
  • do it
  • Mind Map it
  • combine it with what you already know

6. Review and evaluate

  • review and evaluate
  • know that I know
  • self/peer/teacher evaluation
  • ongoing review

This has been adapted from one of the best books about learning that we have come across, ‘The Learning Revolution’ by Jeanette Vos and Gordon Dryden. This book is so popular the 1st edition sold 10 million copies worldwide and 7.5 million copies were sold in China in just 25 weeks! To receive other hints and tips like this via e-mail, visit: and sign up for their free electronic newsletter. Illumine Ltd is a leading international training company specialising in the areas of managing and overcoming information overload, effective thinking, accelerated learning, creativity & innovation.

This article first appeared in Teaching Expertise, April 2004.