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Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education [Paperback]

Phil Race
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.99
Price: 22.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 May 2010 1849201145 978-1849201148 Second Edition
This second edition of a popular text provides an accessible and practical discussion of teaching and learning for the post-compulsory sector of higher and further education. Central to the book is the author's well-known `ripples on a pond' model of learning, which identifies fundamental factors underpinning successful learning:

- wanting to learn

- taking ownership of the need to learn

- learning by doing

- learning through feedback

- making sense of what is being learned

- deepening learning through explaining, coaching, teaching

- further deepening learning through assessing - making informed judgements

The book encourages teachers and students to address these factors head-on in a wide range of contexts, including large-group teaching, the design of assessment, small-group work, reflection, and in making good use of formative feedback.

As well as a thorough update based on feedback to the previous version, this edition includes three new chapters:

- 'designing the curriculum for learning';

- 'what can I do when…?'providing creative tactics to help address some of the common problems colleagues experience in teaching in post-compulsory education;

- 'reflective observation', including peer and self observation.

The book is a helpful tool for lecturers and tutors in universities and colleges, post-16 teachers in secondary education, and educational managers.It also provides a valuable resource for postgraduate students on higher and further education courses and staff development courses across UK universities.

Phil Race is Emeritus Professor: Assessment, Learning and Teaching, at Leeds Metropolitan University, and continues to travel widely giving keynotes and running training workshops for staff and students in universities, colleges and other organizations throughout the UK and abroad.

Access the author's website at

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Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education + Teaching Today A Practical Guide Fourth Edition + Teaching Training and Learning: A Practical Guide
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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd; Second Edition edition (17 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849201145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849201148
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 16.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for the first edition:

`…an abundant supply of a quality that is often lacking in such books: thoughtful originality, backed up by meaningful experience on the part of the author. The book as a whole is mercifully free of unnecessary jargon, and is accessible and friendly in tone…' - ESCalate

`Race… is without a doubt a master of intelligent simplicity…a serious understanding of the needs of learners is clear behind every page… There is an enormous amount of practical, useful material. I will not be in the least surprised if this book is a runaway success' - Anita Pincas, Lifelong Education and International Development, Institute of Education, London

'Phil Race freely shares his experience and his wise counsel in a text where he emerges from the pages as a clear thinking, clear writing, expert in this field, with much to offer' - John Cowan, Emeritus Professor of Learning Development, the Open University

'Excellent resource, especially for those making the transition from practice roles to academia. Phil Race explains his ideas in a way that is simple yet very effective. This book has helped me prepare for my role as a nurse lecturer and helped to reduce many of the stressors I expected to find in entering the classroom environment. The chapter on ‘what can I do when….’  Is invaluable and has already helped me resolve several teaching dilemmas. Highly recommended.' (Paul Smith 2013-07-11)

About the Author

Professor Phil Race is passionate about helping people to learn successfully. Now retired from full-time employment, he runs workshops and gives keynotes throughout the UK and abroad, working with university and college staff on teaching, assessment and feedback methods. He is known for his highly participative style and humour, and getting participants working with post-its!

He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His wife is Professor Sally Brown, known internationally for her work on fit-for-purpose assessment. Originally a scientist, Phil quickly became interested in teaching and assessment. He has worked at several universities, and is now Visiting Professor at Plymouth University and University Campus Suffolk. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2007, and in 2012 became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He publishes widely, but regards ‘Making Learning Happen’ as the favourite of his many books.

He can be contacted through his website:

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instruction 1 Nov 2009
I'm not a teacher but I'm now in an instructional position, I wanted a book that would give me some insight into best practise for teaching trainees not in formal education but undergoing a course of intensive learning.
This book has helped give me some ideas into how to provide the ideal environment for learning and getting the best out of students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 25 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book with an up to date modern approach to how people learn. A must have book for people in the teaching or training profession.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars primary teaching 3 Nov 2009
had to get this book for university for teacher training and it is extremely useful and clearly explains points.
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2.0 out of 5 stars overpriced! 4 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was worried when I thought of buying this book because the author has a website with free downloadable resources. I wondered whether to pay such a high price for the book. What could be in the book that wasn't available on his website? Surely there had to be some value added content in the book. How wrong was I? The book is expensive and basically says the same as the other resources you can download freely from his website. My advice - check his website first and if you get what you want - forget buying the book. As for the content of the book, there are some good ideas - some of them actually from quotes he makes of other peoples work! His chapter 4 (on Assessment) was disappointing as it mostly comprised complaining/criticism of the way current education system is. Typical of academicians. Wading through the criticism to find good morsels (and there are some) on assessment was tedious. The problem with criticism is when the system changes and improves this chapter becomes redundant - a waste of space. It has little value.

I don't really think his "ripples on a pond" is as clever an analogy as other people make out. His "seven factors underpinning successful learning" were good but I didn't need them as ripples on a pond to understand them.

Chapter 5 (on Feedback) and 11 (on Reflection) were the best material for me. The rest I could do without. Chapter 10 (What can I do When...?) is really about problems you can get into with students (eg turning up late; leaving their mobiles on; technology fails - like your slide projector etc. etc.) and for me didn't fit the theme of the book. It looked like a filler.

The book is overpriced and not worth it. There are some good ideas but not nearly enough content to warrant this price.

I wish I hadn't wasted my money on it. The reviewer who's book didn't turn up - he was lucky!
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't come! 12 Oct 2009
Never got the book... emailed to explain that I hadn't recieved it yet and never replied until a week later!
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