A Learners’ View (ALV) Is Of Choices On The Shortest And Fastest Path To Learning, The Oxygen Of Social Life.

Learners inherit the future; learneds rule the past; researchers bridge the past with the future. 


Main Article: Classic Education: A Learners’ View (ALV) of Choices during Teaching and Learning

Theme: People learn by making the same choices to connect dots as do the most accomplished people, so teaching is showing people those ways to make those choices.

Main Points: A learners’ view (ALV) of learning describes common ways people use while learning lessons of teachers. These ways form patterns of a finite number of choices common across individual differences of teachers, of their lessons, and of learners. When teachers choose to use ALV in lessons, they reduce the chances of students failing-to-learn lessons taught and the negative social consequences that go with those failures.


Connect The Dots

HOW SHOULD EDUCATION PRACTICE AND POLICY deal with the twin realities that people appear to have individual differences, and yet scientists have demonstrated that behind these differences, people learn by making the same kinds of choices.

Throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries, educators, private funding efforts, and governments have worked together in various ways to create conditions that support the acceptance of individual differences in and out of schools. This acceptance expresses the social goal of providing equal opportunity for learning by all members.  Preceding and during this same period, behavioral and social scientists have documented that people, in spite of their differences, learn while making the same finite number of choices. These studies are among the most rigorous and largest controlled experiments conducted about learning. Together, they describe the craft learners use to learn. We refer to their craft with the interchangeable names of A Learners’ View (ALV) of learning, Two Dots Learning (TDL), and Dot-Choice-Dot Learning (DCDL).

WRITING Classic Education: A Learners’ View (ALV) of Choices during Teaching and Learning began with three assumptions. One, if available online, teachers will use experimental behavioral and social science research descriptions of learning reported during the previous century. Two, these results may help someone trying to solve a problem encountered while schooling others during the 21st Century. Three, in these ways educators further fulfill their great social commission to describe what the most accomplished people have done and to convey it to those who haven’t accomplished as much yet.

These assumptions provide a foundation for classic learning in the 21st century. Fulfilling this commission provides ways for learners to use and critique past accomplishments in order to increase further the life chances for themselves and for other people in their future.

ALV further rests on the assumption that educators and learners are optimists by definition; they’re “can do” people, or as the Disney Imagineers say, “Yes, if..” and then educators, learners, and Imagineers choose when and how to make the if happen.


Within a couple of weeks of the launch of this site, a high school chemistry teacher called from one of the lowest academic performance ranked public school districts in that state. I’ve got to tell you a story:

     I told my class the five generic questions from a learners’ view (ALV) that each lesson answers. I told them, so they can identify which questions my lessons answer. We practiced identifying questions during that class period. Next day, a student brought to class a seven foot banner with those questions printed on it. He asked for help and we taped the banner near the ceiling across the front of the classroom for everyone to see.

     Over the next several weeks students showed each other how to use these questions as guides to learn more from classroom exercises and lectures. Grades on tests rose, and student focus increased in chemistry and other classes these students took. Just thought you’d like to know.

That student went on to enroll in one of the top universities in the world, an unusual accomplishment for people in his neighborhood and school district. It’s an enormous privilege to have participated remotely in those events.

That phone call meant that the implicit goal of this site “to help someone” was met. It met the social imperative that education provides continuity across generations and opportunities for increasing choices in society. It showed that my teachers of long ago gave wings to the craft of teaching and learning that others may still use to their and our common social benefit.

The phone call also left open the question, How far in the technical weeds can descriptions of learning be for teachers to use them? The working view has been, when educators read and implement descriptions of choices learners make while learning, learning will likely accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) promptly and sometimes dramatically. Scientists have reported these results from experimental studies with over a million learners and thousands of teachers. This view faces three obstacles still unresolved.

Limited Institutional Memory

The first obstacle is the limited institutional memory in education of how teachers have for uncounted generations taught students the craft of learning. For example, imprecise and inaccurate vocabulary that educators use today to describe their responsibilities, activities and tools lack grounding in an integrated experimental science.

In turn, their vocabulary, in spite of noble efforts, interferes with changing the distribution of learning from teaching. Yet, the vocabulary and crafts of learning and of teaching exist as demonstrated in reports of experimental behavioral and social science studies. These studies benchmark the facts of ways to AID and vocabulary to describe teaching learners to learn.

Professional development programs and practices feature descriptions and opinions about theories and “research findings.” Accordingly, as more than one educator has said over the last decades, I read the abstracts of some of the empirical studies, and don’t agree with them, so didn’t read further. That’s my opinion about older research reports. My opinion works for me. I still have a job at a school (or university). That statement leaves unanswered whether educators using such opinions in schools works for all learners to learn all lessons taught.

It is rare to meet an educator outside of a few universities who has read let alone can use the vocabulary of experimental behavioral and social science research results that describe choices learners make while learning. Yet, the basis for confidence, aside from opinion and belief, people use for asserting that learning can result from teaching rests in demonstrations by these experimental scientists.

Illusion of Education

The second obstacle is the illusion of educators in and out of schools that we must first solve social, economic, and political problems in order to meet the social imperative of the social institution of education. This illusion occurs, in part, from limited institutional memory.

It leaves the appearance of free choice among teachers to try individually to invent ways through their lessons that solve macro social-economic-political problems. To the extent that these lessons by chance meet the social imperative of education, learning these lessons provides social continuity and orderly change. Learning increases choices of learners rather than of teachers.

Learning and order distinguish fact from illusion and society from chaos. Through learning by students, educators justify public support for schooling and other parts of education.

Schools Left Behind

The third obstacle is that organizations of schools and their participants have not  kept pace with the technical and scientific means available to AID learning. The current ubiquitous presence of computers in mobile communication devices across the globe has untapped potential for freeing learners from schools as they have existed, and for replacing instruction by teachers with these electronic tools. Note the presence of Google, Siri, and Cortana as question-and-answer electronic personal assistants (or “teacher’s aides”) on the Internet. For years, some students have been using them to answer questions in homework, quizzes, and tests instead of working out answers the old fashioned way.

As it is, too many educators use these achievements as does a three year old child wield a knife to carve a face in a squash. They carve out niches of practice and budgets over which they control the means of learning in schools.

For example, the availability of rapidly advancing communication devices in and out of schools has resulted, from a learners’ view, in the same unnecessary distribution of learning that fits a Gaussian Curve (sometimes called a bell shaped curve). The distribution today almost matches the distribution of learning that has resulted from classrooms since the invention of that curve. Educators still blame these distributions on students failing to learn instead of teachers failing to instruct so learners do learn all lessons taught.

Rationed Learning

This site continues as an impatient attempt around these obstacles. It serves as a reminder that a practical way grounded in experimental research exists today to AID learning. This way has the potential to flatten the distribution of learning.

Sometimes I just want to shout, “TEACHERS, STOP RATIONING LEARNING! LISTEN to what experimental behavioral and social scientists say learners do while learning and what you can do now to AID learning promptly.”

I won’t shout. The world, including education, already has a supply of shouters. I will continue to follow the path of traditional scholarship out of respect for the efforts of those who taught me to use that path. Plus, that path works. People learn when using that path.

At the same time, good people doing good things in classrooms in the name of education continue to ration learning through their lessons. They all probably “know” from their own learning, but ignore the fact, that learners choose to what they attend while learning something. The craft of teaching gives priority to managing those choices, so that learning occurs by intent rather than by chance.


The rise of a new era in education appears likely. Developers of advancing communication technologies are ramping up to provide autonomous robot teachers. This era appears possible for two reasons.

1. Teaching-Learning occurs in patterns. Computers excel at using patterns efficiently. A major economic incentive exists for businesses to develop computer hardware and software that individuals and families can afford in ordered to correct or avoid rationed learning in schools.

2. Computer scientists and technologists continue refining machines that learn from their errors. Advancing communication technology already has demonstrated that a computer (IBM’s Watson) can perform better at chess than expert human chess players. Others (including Kurzweil and colleagues at Singularity University) expect their computers to be smarter than humans in about a decade.

Doubters in and out of education will likely continue their trade. Others will likely persist to make a new era in education happen, if not in their lifetimes, then in the lifetime of their students.

Participant Choices

This effort in writing has been humbling, and sometimes misguided. As in schools, participants make their own choices from among options they choose to view, not necessarily from options someone else may describe or offer. We didn’t consider this principle, just the theme that led to a learners’ view of teaching and learning, while first developing this site.

Of all the choices people can make available for each other, the most precious is a valued place in society. We trust that ALV guides you to consider using and improving it, so others may also make more choices that find you in a valued place for AIDing their learning. In this way, educators help learners continue the good of humanity in society.


  1. A Learners’ View (ALV) of Learning in a Nutshell
  2. Argot Used by Educators
  3. Cortana
  4. Five (5) Generic Questions
  5. Gaussian Curve
  6. Great Social Commission of Education
  7. Just the Facts
  8. New Era School Initiative (NESI) Press Release
  9. Ray Kurzweil
  10. Seven Fast Facts of ALV (A Learners’ View)
  11. Singularity University
  12. Siri
  13. Watson IBM Computer
  14. Yes, if …

Related Reading

  1. ALV (a Learners’ View) in One Lesson
  2. Rationed Learning

Last Edited: June 21, 2016