Gill Robins

Writer & Teacher

Web Design by: JMR          Hosted By: 1and1          Created/Updated: Nov 2011

My Books:Classic Texts

In February 2012, The Essential Charles Dickens School Resource, for pupils aged 7 – 14 will be published, to coincide with the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. Co-authored with a gifted young Secondary English teacher, Laura-Jane Evans-Jones, the book will bring alive the characters and settings of six different Dickens novels.


The book suggests a wide range of creative responses, from drama and film to Web 2.0 technologies – a truly contemporary response to classic themes. And in responding, students will be introduced to Dickens language, Victorian society and the lives of children from another age. But their responses will be their own stories, expressed through contemporary culture using forms of communication which are their daily currency.


Lesson plans, themed units, schemes of work and resource sheets are provided on an accompanying CD, all supported with extensive text extracts. For secondary school teachers it is a great time-saving  resource. For primary English leaders and non-specialist staff alike, it provides full support as you embark on teaching Victorian literature. It will also have a place amongst students and trainee teachers.

Learning Theories

Praise, Motivation and the Child should be read by anyone who spends time with children and who believes that praise works.  It is a powerful motivator - praising children for good behaviour or good work builds self- esteem and self-confidence.  Young children love to collect stickers, certificates and rewards. Teenagers enjoy seeing their efforts rewarded – so what better way is there to shape behaviour, encourage good work habits and produce confident learners?  We also know that it works because our teachers used praise and reward, too, when we went to school.

But supposing these assumptions are wrong. Supposing that, instead of motivating students to learn, we are actually harming their self-confidence by making them dependent on the judgement of the adults around them. And what motivates people to learn anyway?


This book examines the development of learning theories from the 18th century onwards, considering how praise and reward emerged as the most popular strategy for motivating learners. It then investigates current theories about motivation and self-theory, before considering what children and young people themselves think.


So do praise and reward motivate learning? Or are they just cherished assumptions?