Wellbeing & the Emotional Learning Journey

When I get to the part of this session where I give labels to a set of challenging Emotional Learning States, delegates often say that they can give a learner’s name for each one. How about you? Have you ever had, or do you currently have, learners who are: disengaged, filled with self-doubt, fear exclusion, daunted, anxious, fear failure and/or hit cognitive overload far too quickly?

The important question this raises is: if you have a learner in this state, what is the chance of your content working its magic? I’m sure you’ll agree that the chances are very slim.

Looking at the other end of this continuum of Emotional Learning States, have you ever had, or do you currently have, learners who: crave learning, are curious and welcoming of new friendships, prepared for and excited by new discoveries, eager to grow and have an insatiable urge to polish their work through critical reflection?

If we ask the same ‘content/magic’ question, I hope you’ll agree that their willingness to wholeheartedly immerse themselves will ensure their learning continually grows through your lessons and their curiosity-fuelled independent learning. And they’ll be a joy to teach.

Next question: which learning theorists’ approach will best produce these positive Emotional Learning States, and which will be most effective at overcoming the challenging ones?

I’m generalising a little here, but if we had a time machine and could go and ask all of the learning theorists who’s right, they’d all stake a claim. I’ve always found this adversarial contest problematic. So I came up with my own grandiose concept: A Unified Theory of Learning.

After weeks of work, and more than a little help from a wonderful network of LinkedIners, I developed a rating system that basically says every learning theory has great merits – some are great at producing the positives, some better at overcoming the challenges. The art of teaching, then, is to chose the best pedagogy to meet the challenges you’re presented with.

And that’s what this Thursday’s (December 9th) session is all about: Learning Theorists & the Emotional Learning Journey. Delegates will be introduced to 50 teaching strategies that are stereotypical of one of the top four learning theories. But please don’t fear your own cognitive overload, as all of the learning in this session comes through a sophisticated and engaging use of gamification.

Do join us if you can this Thursday, December 9th, or forward to or tag colleagues who might find this session useful. More details and booking information are available here: https://ccqi.org.uk/learningtheory. Here are a few quotes to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • ‘Connectivism to tutorial is illuminating like the full moon on a clear night.’ Macclesfield College
  • ‘A eureka moment.’ MK College
  • ‘Brilliant insight into a variety of learning theories and the emotional learning journey. Always incredibly informative.’ Sysco
  • ‘It’s not about planning lessons, but it is about planning experiences.’ The Oxford Partnership
  • ‘I think this would be a great resource for teacher training courses to lighten up a very heavy module about theorists as you are able to look at it all in a practical way.’ Southport College

Best wishes


#FE  #education #wellbeing #learningtheory #research #c4cqi #JoyFE #UKFEchat #TonyDavis


  1. Dr Chris Smith
    December 21, 2021 @ 10:10 am

    Hi Tony,

    I work for Neath Group of Colleges and valued your sessions in the summer. I was wondering whether you have any stretch and challenge materials I could access?

  2. Tony Davis
    January 13, 2022 @ 09:09 am

    Hi Chris. Just emailed you some thoughts.

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