Learning Environments and Transitions

(with Carol Evans)
  • David Scott
Part of the Evaluating Education: Normative Systems and Institutional Practices book series (ENSIP)


This chapter identifies and examines the elements of a learning environment and the relations between different learning episodes in a person’s life course. Learning comprises a change to the status quo, to what already exists. What this means is that the same learning object is likely to have different effects on different learners and on different occasions on the same learner. These elements with different emphases given to them and different strengths attached to them are the basis for a series of learning models: assessment for learning, observation, coaching, goal-clarification, mentoring, peer-learning, simulation, instruction, concept-formation, reflection, meta-cognitive learning, problem-solving, and practice. This chapter also focuses on transitions in learning and their characteristics. Learning environments are not static entities; they develop, are transformed, and connect with other learning environments. Indeed, within the life trajectory of an individual learner, there is experience of, and movement between, different learning environments. The characteristics of these transitions include: their structure/agency relations; their compliance capacity in relation to formal rules, regulations and norms; movement through time (all transitions are characterised by movement from one time moment (Ta) to another (Tb), and onwards to a series of other time moments (Tc to Tn)); their cultural embeddedness (this refers to factors such as duration, intensity, import, etc.); their pathologising capacity (i.e. whether and to what extent the transition is understood as a normalizing and therefore pathologising mechanism); their position in the life course; their focus (for example, learning transitions, which refer to issues such as familiarity, receptiveness, assimilation, negotiation, rearrangement, formalisation, assessment/accreditation, and the like); and how they relate to an end-point.


Learn Environment Learning Object Postgraduate Student Learning Episode Learn Goal Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Curriculum, Pedagogy & AssessmentUniversity College London Institute of EducationLondonUK

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