Nina's Notes

for Effective Teaching and Meaningful Learning

3C Tools for Better Learning

3C Tools for Choosing How to Teach and Learn           

The Cognitive approach combined with the Constructive and Cooperative practices enable effective teaching and meaningful learning - with Common Core or any other curriculum.

3C Learning and Teaching


There is evidence of changes in classrooms all over the world rising to represent a paradigm shift in mainstream education and challenge the standardized view of learning. The focus in education is moving towards supporting students individual learning processes, rather than emphasizing the importance of teaching and information delivery -- which is just a tiny part of the whole teaching-learning interaction cycle (the other parts are feedback, assessment and transfer; sometimes also evaluation for external stakeholders). Receiving information to be learned is just the beginning of the learning process!  

We need to know how learning happens, so that we can enhance it in the classrooms. In other words, rather than assuming that it is a teacher's job to impart wisdom to students who will somehow magically absorb it, the focus is in the teacher's ability to guide the students into building a knowledge base of their own. One part of the 21st century learning and teaching is asking non-googlable questions and emphasizing applications of learning over reproducing given answers. Students need to learn HOW to think instead of being taught WHAT to think. There is more information (and misinformation) available than ever before in the history of humankind and students need to be prepared to find the important information they need. This supports students own interests and curiosity, too.  Working with students' need to know makes learning and teaching much more meaningful. 


Meaningful learning is built on interactions between students and teachers. The cognitive approach combined with the constructive and cooperative practices enable effective teaching and meaningful learning.


C1 - Cognitive approach makes teaching and learning easy and effective. Viewing learning as a student-centered and dynamic process where learners are active participants, it strives to understand the reasons behind behavioural patterns. Teaching with mental models and Executive Functions (EF) in mind helps students to improve their academic performance by learning how to self-regulate their behaviour, engagement and learning. This helps students to understand how to best support their own learning and what is needed for becoming successful in learning and life. Teachers provide graphic organizers and models, and discuss the hierarchy of the concepts in the learning material.

C2 - Constructive practice emphasizes the learning process and students’ need to construct their own understanding. Delivered or transmitted knowledge does not have the same emotional and intellectual value. New learning depends on prior understanding and is interpreted in the context of current understanding, not first as isolated information that is later related to existing knowledge. Constructive learning helps students to understand their own learning process and self-regulate and co-regulate their learning in the classroom and beyond. Regular feedback,self-reflection and joint reflection are important! Teachers individualize their practice and help students to connect new learning to their existing personal knowledge.

C3Cooperative learning engages not only the whole student in her/his learning, but also the whole class (or school, or even a district!) into the learning process. The guiding principle is to have learning-centered orientation. Students learn from each other and engage in collaborative meaning-making. Every student has their own strengths and areas to grow, and growth mindset is openly discussed in the class. Teaching and learning become meaningful for both teacher and students, because there is no need for the power struggle in the emotionally safe classroom. From students perspective cooperative learning is about behaving responsibly and being accountable for your own learning. 


What can I do to help you in learning and teaching?


Email or call me: or 1-888-9TEACHME (1-888-983-2246) 

 p.s.  check also my blogpost about this at Wordpress 

Nina's book:

Also available as Kindle!  
Find it at Powells , or take a look on  Barnes and Noble. 


If you reside in the Europe, then Waterstones or AmazonUK  might be a better choice.  Suomessa ja muissa Pohjoismaissa myos  Adlibris on vaihtoehto.