A Preliminary Word with Readers

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


Last Edited: February 10, 2018

Main Article: Welcome

Theme: The science of teaching-learning is of social processes, and their uses to accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) learning of all students through lessons.

Topic: Learning Lessons that Teachers Instruct Boils Down to Choices of Teachers during Instruction.

Problem: The adoption of smart phones and other computers people use routinely to teach and to learn fogs and distracts rather than resolves the social dilemma of how to instruct lessons that all learners learn and benefit from as do the most accomplished members of society.

A LEARNERS’ VIEW OF LEARNING is a child of the new and expanding era of science and technology in which we live. This view describes the social foundation and structure of choices learners make while they learn lessons of teachers. This description occurs as a report of an analysis of experimental research studies of teaching and learning by behavioral and social scientists over more than a century. The goal for describing this view is to provide teachers with a tool that demystifies and makes accessible the teaching-learning process the way McDonalds and Starbucks make their products accessible to the general public. Once lessons are as simple to learn as hamburgers and coffee are to purchase, the cost of learning can decline as the rate of learning increases.

Teachers entered this new era and its different way of life by the late 1960s. Experimental behavioral and social scientists had been reporting for decades the active elements that learners use while learning teachers’ lessons. Computer scientists were using some of these elements to compose software to drive their machines. In this era, we have been living with machines that are increasingly smarter than most and probably all individuals.

This new era marginalizes the social value of instruction (teaching) that does not result in all students learning all lessons that the most accomplished people have learned. Educators have held for half a century the scientific-technical base, as well as the authority and power to use it, to abolish failure of students to learn lessons. Educators have also held the competing power of lessons to abolish political freedom of people to make personal choices.

Exercise of these powers occurs in ways that do not resolve either of their risks. This lack has contributed to the uneven distribution of choices and life chances of alumni. These powers, their unresolved risks, and their consequences offer a glimpse of the more challenging issue of teaching and living as individuals and as society with machines smarter than the most accomplished people.

Balancing the potential risks-benefits of the tools of educators poses an unresolved social dilemma for which some educators have started making preparations beyond relying on personal judgments. Yet, educators and their students struggle nobly each day to reconcile this dilemma during each lesson, if only in vague, imprecise, and unsatisfying ways with marginal increases in classroom learning. Note the ever-present adoption of smart phones and other computers people use routinely to teach and to learn. Adoption of these machines by well meaning educators fogs and distracts rather than resolves this social dilemma.

Use of computers in schools has supported a spectrum of practices and programs grounded in personal, political, religious, and commercial agendas rather than in the science of teaching and learning. As a result, educators knowingly and unknowingly contribute an inordinate percentage of their alumni to the lower social-economic classes who live with fewer and different choices and life chances from the more accomplished people.

Scientific Studies of Teaching-Learning 

The science of teaching and learning relies on the application of certain principles:

  • Objectivity
  • Observability
  • Experimentation
  • Measurability
  • Replicability

Experimental scientific studies of teaching and learning provide teachers with an empirical objective foundation for instructing lessons. This foundation makes it possible and preferable to use this foundation rather than for teachers to try to create their own or use someone else’s theory.

A learners’ view is a technical description of scientific commonalities for teachers to use during instruction of lessons. These commonalities are for teachers as analyses of “big data” are for education administrators, governments and corporations. This view and these analyses rely on mathematical probabilities of patterns of observable behavior occurring repeatedly under certain conditions. Teachers who use a learners’ view are more likely to accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) learning by their students.

A New Era in Education

A learners’ view (ALV), grounded in experimental behavioral and social  sciences, offers entry into a new era of choices and life chances through education for teachers and learners. This new era moves decision making from people making routine choices to solve daily problems to machines solving an unknown number and kind of problems for us. Historians will tell us in the future if this new era is an illusion or transformational. Already scientists and engineers have demonstrated that computer based machines can do more of some things than even aggregates of the most accomplished people, and that such machines can solve some human problems faster and more efficiently than can humans.

Those of us who have served learners know in ways that only experience permits that transitions to teaching in a new era can have sharp edges. That experience helps to round the corners and dull those edges so that we minimize rationing of learning by others through our choices.

Science Resolves the Dilemma of Power during Instruction

Entry into this era offers a resolve to the dilemma of failure-to-learn or loss of freedom of choices. The resolve uses the power of scientifically identified and tested choices of teachers and learners in ways that learners learn lessons. The resolve uses a framework of facts as the basis of choices during intruction. These facts identify ways to teach consistent with ways scientists have described choices learners will likely make while learning.

Applying these facts removes failure-to-learn as well as threats to personal choices as social problems. As a consequence of resolving that dilemma, ALV addresses the greater social issue of the unequal distribution of learning and of life chances of those learners. This new era exists at the choice of educators singly and with others and without requiring changes in authorizations for teaching or learning.

From a learners’ view, this new era relies on mathematical probabilities that have joined teaching-learning with machines. ALV describes strategic elements that teachers and learners use to accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) learning from teaching during our transition into this era. 

One branch of this new era started in the late 1890s when the French Parliament asked Theodore Simon and Alfred Binet to develop a way to identify school students not likely to learn to read. This request resulted in more than a century long stream of research and development to measure and adjust various parts of teaching-learning processes. This stream features social actions of educators and learners without necessarily implying any non-observable “mental” activity or intention.

The second branch emerged in the 1930s with the work on mathematical probabilities of Alonzo Church and Alan Turing. During the same and the previous decade, L.L. Thurston and others were refining ways they developed earlier of calculating probabilities of people learning to solve problems such as how to read.

In each historic era, we have learned something when we overcome obstacles that previously obscured ways to solve problems. We learned of choices used by more accomplished  people, but were not used by most people, such as when to choose food and survival over a pleasure.

Teaching and in other ways living with machines smarter than humans offers new obstacles to address in and out of schools. One set of obstacles educators have described in many ways is, How can educators choose for all students to learn all lessons and at which costs to educators and which benefits to learners?

This Site

This site is about the science of teaching-learning as social processes and its uses to accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) learning.

This site considers transitions to an era of smart machines from a learners’ point of view (ALV) of learning. This site offers you a tour of ways to instruct lessons that promptly AID learning as they have for millions of other learners. From a learners’ view, whenever someone learns a lesson offered by a teacher, both teacher and learner use that view. This view is grounded in the science of teaching-learning as social processes and their uses in lessons. The content of these pages rests in the empirical studies of experimental scientists who have been examining, cataloguing, analyzing, and reporting descriptions of teaching and learning for over a century. Their studies have revealed a rich library of common facts and processes that teachers use by chance or by intent to AID learning.

I use those descriptions to develop this site after someone asked, Tell me what people do to learn, what learners do first, second, etc. Maybe you have wanted a response to that question also. I couldn’t say when asked, nor could I find descriptions by others that satisfied the questioner who wanted high levels of confidence in the accuracy and precision of those descriptions as would a neurosurgeon want the best descriptions available before opening the scalp and skull of a person. The request indicates a different option in a new era for educators to address teaching-learning in research as well as in lessons taught.


From a learners’ view (ALV), educators are in transition from relying on inferences from folklore, personal experience, preferences, and other non-science grounded sources to making choices grounded in experimental behavioral and social science research. The word transition, a noun, refers to the process or period during which a change in patterns of choices by people occurs. Transitions occur continually, routinely and in increments in daily life. Educators refer to transitions as learning. That is, people change what we do as individuals, as families, and as aggregates. We choose to adapt to what we see, hear, and in other ways sense in order to live (survive) in ways we choose to benefit in each situation.

People also use the word transition as a euphemism to indicate large scale changes that affect most people, such as the change from the industrial era to the information era. In this sense, transitions refer to the illusion of changes in choices without necessarily describing the processes people use while changing from one status to another. A learners’ view (ALV), the core of this site, describes those choices and their uses in ways that distribute life chances of people more evenly.

Science, Technology, and Teaching

Instruction combines science as the subject of procedures and technology as the subject of capability with content to form lessons. (ALV T-Shirt Wisdom)

The transition to decision making by smart machines in schools today appears to ground new options for educators in experimental science conducted in both academic and commercial venues. The romantic images, folklore, and mystery about human learning as the basis for teaching are being replaced by codes other than words. Humans and machines can manage these new symbols and their logic. Consistent use of these codes by some teachers in lessons already results in all learners learning lessons taught.

Already, rudimentary robots serve as teachers and coaches of humans. Perhaps you have used a global positioning system (GPS) in a vehicle, or taken an online course and test. Or maybe you know someone who was operated on with a surgical robot, or plays electronic games. New hardware and software releases will make existing capacities of teachers seem primitive and inadequate as cycles of smart machine development escalates.


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

The theme of this site is a learners’ view (ALV) of choices during teaching and learning. That theme has been implied and observed informally and discussed by people probably since before records existed. This theme may be inferred from classicists when they offer enduring writings from previous times.

Reading all of the scientific reports on learning and dissecting them might take you, as it has others, decades, knowing all of the time that the effort does not end. You can, if you so choose, read these reports in a shorter time. The reports have their own vocabulary and formats. They are compact statements with more precision and accuracy than used in conventional conversations and are not meant to entertain. Ideally, each word has a use interspersed with few, if any fillers or carriers, as novelist James Michener calls the easy reading parts of a narrative. Scientists crank out research reports at increasing rates that consume each others’ time in amounts that appear insurmountable to most K12 teachers and full time teaching professors, including education faculty who prepare teachers in teaching colleges and universities.

Scientific reports of teaching and learning are discipline driven descriptions of parts of reality as distinguished systematically from other parts. Scientists write their reports for other scientists to consider in their research. Another assortment of scientists adapt these basic descriptions for use by educators.

These reports serve as grounds to dig into, to analyze, and to compare; they’re to mine, as in data mining, not just browse. With any reading, irrespective of your beliefs and sophistication with faith doctrines and sciences, they help you avoid scientific bankruptcy when addressing teaching-learning.

Unsolved Problems

If this sounds like lectures of a school teacher, let it. I am a former teacher as well as a former professor and social scientist. Schools are important, one of the most influential organizations invented. Most importantly, they offer a place to associate with people who try to learn what the most accomplished people and their intellectual and scientific off spring do and have said about such mysteries as how teaching changes options of learners. Schools are not a magic carpet to anything or anywhere. Going to school or teaching in one does not automatically make anyone an educated person. Schools do not offer solutions to life’s ultimate mysteries. They do not make you happy beyond the satisfaction you might encounter with a cup of coffee or glass of almond milk.

In a general sense, impacts of teaching on learning exist as one of those ultimate mysteries. Nobody “knows” or has yet described that complete process or all of its impacts.

At the same time, scientists have been studying relationships between teaching and learning for over a century. Whether by chance, design, or method, experimental behavioral and social scientists have reported a vast library that describes actions teachers take that AID learning.

Perhaps these scientists brought into view what you already know. If so, then perhaps this site will add to your confidence, so you can AID learning even further. That’s easier to say than to prove, since science, unlike mathematics and jurisprudence, does not address proof. Scientists report likelihoods, probabilities, based on the choices you offer as a teacher for learners to learn.

But, you, as do state examiners, can test the value a learners’ view (ALV) adds to learning from your lessons. ALV offers you an overview of specific actions to take with common elements in descriptions experimental scientists have reported that connect teaching with learning.

You, as have over a million other teachers, may find that learners learn more from you as you increase your familiarity with this view of teaching-learning.

I hope this site provides a candle light that exposes simple tasks you may use to AID learning. I hope you find this site pleasantly useful as you proceed through this transition into an as yet undefined new era of learning that teachers may find challenges their customary school activities. Perhaps the friends you make with reports of scientists mentioned in this site will AID you to learn to adapt to the emerging era of teaching-learning. You must make them your friends through your efforts, as have others.

This is a social problem that arguably affects each person’s life chances. Those of us who have served learners know these transitions in ways that only experience permits. That experience helps to round the corners and dull the sharp edges of transitions in teaching-learning.

Pleased let us know how you solved situations like those faced by the California student and teacher, and if you used a learners’ view to do so.


  1. A Learners’ View (ALV) not a Learner’s View
  2. ALV (a Learners’ View) in One Lesson
  3. Folklore about Education
  4. Folklore about Learning
  5. Michener, J. (2007). The World Is My Home: A Memoir. NY: Random House Trade Paperback Publication.
  6. New Era School Initiative (NESI)
  7. Problem addressed by Learners’ View (ALV)
  8. Transitions as Changing Choices
  9. Tutorial Discretion
  10. Unsolved Problems
  11. Why Can’t I Stop Learning?

Related Reading

  1. A Note to Readers
  2. How this Site is Different
  3. How to Use this Site
  4. It’s Story Time
  5. Notes about ALV
  6. Watch our Progress
  7. What if All Teachers Use a Learners’ View (ALV) Consistently?