Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School


Offer Price£45.00
Oct 2011


Providing the skills children require to be active participants in their communities

Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School is an exciting new resource that is designed to help your pupils gain a deeper understanding of the world and how their decisions affect it. It provides a framework for collaborative learning, encouraging learners to explore and understand a dilemma and seek the wisest solution through a process of structured conversation.

The approach can be applied to any dilemma that might be encountered – this might be in literature, PSHE and citizenship, during historical or geographical exploration, in scientific understanding or personal experience. Dilemma-based learning is designed to help children and young people learn to grapple with the complexity and the multi-faceted nature of human experience. Through this approach children will learn the skills they require to take their part in the communities in which they live and in the wider society.

With an introduction to key ideas and processes, staff development activities and examples of social and emotional dilemmas, Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School is the ideal resource to implement a dilemma-based approach to learning in your school. It can be used both as a tool for learning and as a way of tackling some of the dilemmas that children will face in their lives.


Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School is a comprehensive resource that will:

  • Introduce the key ideas and processes of dilemma-based learning
  • Show you how to use dilemmas from real life, literature or from specific areas of learning
  • Enable you to integrate a dilemma-based approach to learning into your curriculum
  • Empower your pupils to question how and why they make certain decisions
  • Support your pupils to cope better with tough tasks and deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and doubt.

Summary of contents

Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School provides the information that you need to introduce dilemma-based learning into your school. This comprehensive resource includes an introduction to key ideas and processes, staff development activities and a set of social and emotional dilemmas so that you can familiarise yourself with the dilemma-based approach to learning.

Dilemma-based Learning in Primary School will:

  •     Give your students the confidence and ability to express their views and make informed choices
  •     Promote a contemplative approach to answering questions and dealing with a variety of issues
  •     Promote a collaborative approach to learning, through structured conversation
  •     Enable you to give pupils skills that they can use in all subjects to raise performance, such as creative thinking and reasoning
  •     Encourage you to develop your own dilemmas to use in class
  •     Provide staff development activities.

Chapter breakdown

Part One: The Basics of Dilemma-based Learning

  • What is dilemma-based learning?
  • The Webs of Meaning
  • How to organise a dilemma-based learning session.

Part Two: Integrating and Embedding Dilemma-based Learning

  • Developing dilemma-based learning as a sustainable part of learning
    • Planning
    • Developing group skills through dilemma-based learning
    • Using dilemmas to promote social inclusion in the classroom
    • Developing learning and thinking skills
    • The role of dilemma-based learning in promoting social and emotional skills
    • Where can I find dilemmas?
    • Writing my own dilemmas
    • Can I use dilemma-based learning with all children?
    • Using dilemma-based learning with children with behavioural, social and emotional needs
  • Dilemma-based learning across the life of the school
    • The development of life approaches
    • A dilemma-based learning approach to improving behaviour
  • Dilemma-based learning in the community
    • Exploring dilemma-based learning with parents
    • Using dilemma-based learning intergenerational learning

Part Three: Example Dilemmas

  • School organisation
  • Friends and peers
  • The learning community
  • Personal
  • Family
  • Change and transitions
  • Wider community.

Part Four: Staff Development

Part Five: Resources

  • Quick guide to dilemma-based learning
  • Webs of Meaning
  • Role description cards
  • Group skills rubric
  • Questioning skills
  • Introductory learning opportunities for children.

Part Six: Theoretical and Practical Origins

  • Origins
  • Skills Frameworks, Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), Essentials for Learning and Life?


A4 wiro bound, 175 pages


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