Book: Connect the Dots by Tricia Taylor via @JohnCattEd

Published by John Catt Educational

Connect The Dots: The Collective Power of Relationships, Memory and Mindset in the Classroom













  • Explores the science and research behind three critical elements each classroom should display.
  • The chapters conclude with detailed guides to support leadership in creating personalised professional learning sessions to turnkey these concepts to school staff.
  • Explores metacognition and the benefits of its use within the classroom.
  • Sidenotes throughout showcase further reading, ideas and resources.
  • Relevant for teachers at all stages of education, with ideas to help support students development.

Review and ratings independently compiled by Colin Hill, Supported by John Catt Publishing

It is sometimes easy to forget how important positive relationships are within our schools. Ensuring that all our students feel supported, empowered and inspired to discover more about the world is at the heart of what most colleagues endeavour for each day, but other stuff gets in the way, and maintaining positive relationships within the school context can be difficult to maintain.

One of the central premises of the book by Tricia Taylor (supported by Nina Dibner) is that schools should be creating a sense of belonging within our students, along with establishing norms and high expectations; and understanding barriers, like unconscious bias and misconceptions, in order to break them down. Positive relationships, Tricia maintains, happen when people connect emotionally and value each other’s complex identities. But, when faced with a packed curriculum, assessments and targets that need to be reached, and the bureaucracy faced on a daily basis, it is easy for teachers to lose sight of the importance of building positive relationships. Yet, positive relationships can help reduce stress in our students, and provide them with some consistency in life as they go through some remarkable physiological and psychological changes. Tricia looks into the science and research of positive relationships, making it quite accessible to the reader, also exploring the dangers of not recognising and addressing unconscious bias. As the book proceeds, sections of advice are offered to explore how to help build positive relationships within the classroom, applicable to primary and secondary settings. Setting high expectations, being authentic and consistent are clear routines that need to be established, but ensuring that an inclusive environment is created can make your classroom a place where they actually want to be.

The two other interconnected ideas explored in the book are:

  • Maximising Memory: managing cognitive load, using effective learning strategies, planning for long term retention and application of knowledge, and
  • Cultivating Learning Mindsets: building self-efficacy; developing metacognitive skills; and using feedback, goal setting and talk effectively.

Again, Taylor explores the research, making it very accessible to the reader, and explores strategies that help develop an awareness of cognitive load, attention span, and developing independent practice.

This is a very well researched book. Not only does Tricia explore the science and research behind the topics mentioned above, but she disseminates everything in an accessible way for teachers who want to start exploring how to build positive relationships within the classroom, whilst also developing strategies to maximise learning and cultivate learning skills for students.


You need to or Register to bookmark/favorite this content.

About @digicoled 446 Articles
Colin Hill – Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.
Website Twitter

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.