Learning Set Mediation

The purpose of this guide is to support tutors in resolving conflicts within Learning Sets through Interpersonal Small Group Mediation strategies.

The Purpose of Learning Set Mediation:
Learning Set’s are dynamic group structures designed to engineer and facilitate both learning and social relationships. The three principles of:
1: 6 in number;
2: Heterogeneous in character (diversely mixed);
3: Sustained overtime;
have the potential to either enable high functioning learning and social relationships or low functioning learning and social relationships. To enable the desired outcome of the Learning Set relationships must be nurtured by all 7 members of the Learning Set; the 6 students and the 1 tutor.

As with any group, problems and issues concerning relationships can emerge and if unresolved can evolve into corrosively negative group relations. The key therefore is to enable the successful resolution of substantive, communication and relational problems as they emerge. Vigilance, swift action and mediation on the part of the tutor can enable the group to locate the causes, course and consequences of the problem or issue and with this foster healthier Learning Set relationship.

A Learning Set’s success is in direct correlation with the strength of the Learning Set’s relationship.

The Product of Learning Set Mediation:

The long term goal is to enable students to better negotiate their own solutions to substantive, communication and relational problems. Students need to recognise that the relationship of the group is the responsibility of every member. Through modelling and interventions such as Learning Set Mediation, students can come to be ever more self-regulating, aware of how to negotiate their way through the complexities of learning and social relationships. Within this process the Learning Set’s tutor plays a key role.

Learning Set Mediation involves:

  • Voluntary participation (all members of the Learning Set agree to it)
  • Face-to-face discussions between the parties in conflict facilitated through the tutor as mediator
  • An unbiased mediator who helps those involved to understand each other’s point of view and come to an agreement
  • Equal opportunities for all participants to speak and explain their perspective
  • All relevant information being shared openly by all participants
  • A shared agreement between the parties
  • Revisiting the agreement to ensure application and resolution  


To access the Learning Set Mediation Guide and Toolkit CLICK HERE

Resources to support our research Triads, curated by Richard D

Metacognition – I’m loving reading several books on this topic at the moment. There is some great research based literature out there on memory. Surely when designing a new curriculum this should be an absolute must, looking at interleaving, spacing, working v long term memory testing effect, etc. There is research debunking learning styles etc too. Reading Dan Willingham ‘Why Don’t students like school’ and Brown et al ‘Making it stick’.
Alex Quigley’s posts here;
Joe Kirby; (I dont agree with him on most things but the cognitive science stuff is interesting)

Pragmatic rehearsal – i’d argue that this is the nuts and bolts of good teaching, what we need to do to be effective. I’m a fan of Doug Lemov’s and Uncommon Schools ‘Teach Like a Champion’ and would argue all NQT’s should study it, I wish id had this book in my first year of teaching. Basic techniques like SLANT – sit up, listen, ask questions, nod and track the speaker. Generally behaviour for learning could that fit in here? Tom Bennet is a blogger who is an expert in this area. Maybe some of the work of Dweck on growth mindset, grit and the power of ‘not yet’ underpins some of the other research triads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-swZaKN2Ic. I have her mindset book.
Dylan Wiliam and classic authors
Tom Sherrington covers the basics of good teaching well;
Pedagogical content knowledge
Subject specific journals e.g. Geographical association good research

Feedback – There are a ton of blogs on feedback. I would say that it is all about building a culture and its beyond the traditional peer assessment models. If this group have not seen this video they must – it will change the way feedback is percieved; Also Ron Bergers book ‘An Ethic of Excellence’ is a MUST read for all teachers in my opinion – a culture of critique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms http://reflectionsofmyteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/PBL?m=0
I think feedback is all about impact and being sensible with workload and the amount given.
Here are a few blogs on feedback;
David Didau’s book ‘The secret of literacy’ is simply awesome.
Doug Lemovs ‘Dot rounds’ are an easy an effective form of feedback I would have on my list of strategies teachers must use
Harry Fletcher-Wood

Authentic challenge – The work of High Tech High and REAL projects, website such as edutopia, Buck Institute of education etc could support in the implementation of projects. Potential to disseminate research to the Innovation Unit. Some great pbl blogs;
Science – Darren Mead http://pedagogicalpurposes.blogspot.co.uk/
Books such as the ‘Hidden Lives of Learners’ by Nutthal – brilliant book!
Various organisations e.g. RSA, Expeditionary learning schools.

Read ‘An Ethic of Excellence’ as a starting point. Build a culture of enquiry in the classroom

Hinge questions;
Standards based grading etc interesting, nice book by Berger et al on this.
Measuring progress;
Demonstrating -passage presentations and portfolios- see Berger’s assessment book I have