Step 0: Orientate

Step 0: Orientate is all about getting students ready to learn.

Steps 1-5 of the Learning Cycle are about what happens during the teaching/learning process.

Step 0 is about the wider learning environment.  There is more to it than just what happens in each lesson and how you follow it up.

It’s just as important to spend time creating an effective learning environment and nurturing positive attitudes towards learning.

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Orientation involves behaviour and mindset.

The two key issues that we will explore in this section are behaviour and mindset.


It’s important to establish an environment in your classroom where students behave in an appropriate way. Without this background of appropriate behaviour, effective learning can’t happen.

Hattie cites ‘classroom behaviour’ as one of the few things which have serious, negative effect on learning.

However, it’s not hard to create this environment – It doesn’t mean a harsh zero-tolerance approach but it does mean letting go of some well intrenched ideas.


It’s also important to actively promote a growth mindset among students and staff. A growth mindset works from the assumption that we can all improve and develop.

This is in comparison to a fixed mindset, where there is a limit on what each person can achieve.

A growth mindset firmly places the emphasis on effort, dedication, and determination.

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Image credits

Header image:

Image of a teacher working with a couple of students at their desks:

Image of a teacher working with a group of students looking at a map:

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