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Richard Lindo explains more about his ground-breaking concept of ‘Readiness-to-Learn’ and outlines its relevance to classrooms

The concept of Readiness-to-Learn is based around five main elements which are arranged in a ‘Hierarchy of Learning’ in a manner similar to Maslow’s familiar ‘Hierarchy of Needs’.


This hierarchy is based on numerous research studies into what creates effective learning and includes the following strands:

1. Emotional Intelligencesensing the needs of others, which develops positive relationships.

2. Relationshipsthese become positive when teachers show empathy towards students.

3. Motivationthis is formed from a sense of feeling valued, based on positive relationships.

4. Time and Motionpunctuality, organisation etc. are better in motivated students.

5. Thinkingthis is more complex when students feel valued, safe, motivated and organised.

Strand 1 – Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is strand one in the ‘Readiness-to-Learn’ hierarchy because teachers and students need to understand and manage their emotions to create a positive learning environment. Therefore, in the context of a classroom, the teacher’s emotional control will have a direct impact on student behaviour. A teacher who shouts a lot, for example, is likely to create an environment of conflict and humiliation. In contrast, a teacher who is calm, consistent and sensitive to their students’ needs will have more success in creating a calm classroom environment. So, in a nutshell, ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the first factor in successful behaviour management which leads to effective learning.

Strand 2 – Relationships
High levels of emotional intelligence, displayed by teachers through skills like empathy, demonstrate to students that teachers are sensitive to their needs, which in turn builds positive relationships. Relationship skills such as good listening, appropriate tone, and use of praise and gestures help to engage students and provide a reassurance for students that teachers can relate to them.

Strand 3 – Motivation
Once positive relationships are in place, students will be more motivated to learn because they will want to sustain the positive relationship that exists, and continue to receive praise and positive attention from the teacher. Motivation will display itself in a number of ways, including offering answers, completing work to a higher standard, being more engaged and arriving to lessons early.

Strand 4 – Time and Motion
Motivation and engagement are directly linked to the desire to learn and the application of such learning. Research in attachment theory presents conclusive findings about the link between the quality of student-teacher attachment and the internal motivation of the student. Motivated students display a number of time and motion skills, including improved operation, punctuality, organisation and higher levels of performance.

Strand 5 – Thinking Skills
Thinking is improved when students feel safe in taking risks, as a key aspect of problem-solving and creative thinking is the ability to create and discard ideas and hypothesis. Therefore, a teacher who has high levels of emotional intelligence and has been empathetic to students’ needs over time, thus creating positive relationships which motivate students to operate better, will have created an environment where students feel confident in taking risks. This encouraging, nurturing environment will provide the ideal platform to develop students’ independent thought, safe in the knowledge that their ideas will be valued.

For more information on this approach and a free trial of Richard Lindo’s Emotional Intelligence Development Learning Platform: