Robert Gagné’s nine principles focus on how we layer and sequence learning to achieve the best outcomes. As such, they make essential reading for all teachers, especially those new to the chalkface. Matt Bromley explains

I’ve started ice skating lessons. Think of me not as some pound-shop Christopher Dean in sequined Lycra, but as a middle-aged father talked into supporting his daughters.

I am, by some margin, the oldest person on the ice. Most of the other skaters are young children. The coaches are half my age. The experience is a masterclass in being stranded far outside one’s comfort zone.

I often talk to new teachers about the importance of learning to fall – facing your fears and doing it anyway. Well…

My most spectacular fall occurred the night I had to drive from the arena to give a talk. I lost my footing while forward gliding at speed and fell backwards, cracking my head and back hard on the ice. Later, I hobbled onto the stage like an octogenarian.

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