Phenomenal Teaching

Explore the PEBC's Phenomenal Teaching Framework.

Each episode will take a closer look how the strands of the framework come to life in classrooms and schools. Join us as we unpack Planning, Community, Workshop, Thinking Strategies, Discourse & Assessment.

Made for Learning: An Exploration of Cambourne’s Conditions for Learning

Learners must be the “doers” of what they are learning! Being a doer is supported by engagement, immersion, demonstration, employment, expectation, approximation, responsibility and response ~ these conditions are commonly known as the “Conditions of Learning” or “Cambourne’s Conditions” and are an essential component of “Cambourne’s Model of Learning” theory.

This theory was originally published in Cambourne’s The Whole Story: Natural Learning and the Acquisition of Literacy in the Classroom in 1988. In this episode, Dr. Brian Cambourne and Debra Crouch join Michelle Jones on the Phenomenal Teaching Podcast to explore the art and science of teaching. The “Conditions of Learning” are just as relevant today as they were 36 years ago; yet, Brian’s recent research about implementation has led to an evolution of his original thinking. In order for teachers to be able to implement the “Conditions of Learning” they must embrace a transactional model of learning rather than a transmission model. Debra Crouch has spent many years in classrooms and schools implementing the model and utilizing the conditions as a means to make sound instructional decisions to create learning opportunities for students and adults that are predicated on meaning making. She brings a wealth of practical examples to their partnership. This partnership and collaboration has led to the publication of Made for Learning: How the Conditions of Learning Guide Teaching Decisions.


Brian Cambourne is presently a Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He began teaching in 1956 at the age of 19 and spent nine years teaching in a mix of one-room schools and primary classrooms K-6 for the New South Wales Department of Education. In his tenth year of service for this department he entered the groves of Academe as a teacher educator at Wagga Wagga Teachers College. He completed his Ph.D at James Cook University in Nth Queensland, and was subsequently a Fulbright Scholar and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Illinois and Arizona. Since completing his doctoral studies (1972), Brian has been researching how learning, especially literacy learning, occurs. He has conducted this research in the naturalistic mode he prefers by sitting in classrooms for many hundreds of hours.

Debra Crouch works nationally as an independent literacy consultant, collaborating with districts and schools in designing professional learning opportunities to empower teachers, principals, and coaches as they envision instruction over time, across texts, and among practices. She has been involved in education for the past 32 years as a classroom teacher, coach, consultant, and author. She actively shares her thinking and practices through long-term professional learning opportunities with districts across the country serving children from diverse language and socioeconomic backgrounds.


PEBC is a nonprofit organization that is proud to provide free quality content to educators. If you would like to support our work by sponsoring this podcast, please contact Michelle Jones at [email protected].

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