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Characteristics of Effective Learning


COEL stands for Characteristics of Effective Learning. Using these characteristics, the staff team can assess their own teaching and the learning environment. COEL enable us to look at how children are learning and if it is truly worthwhile, for example, one characteristic states a child should use all their senses while learning. If we discover the children are not doing this, then we need to adapt our teaching and learning environment in order to give the children this opportunity. Static and adult led learning limits the children to using just one or two senses and this style of learning will not enable all children to learn.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning are very important within an early years setting. The areas include:

Playing and Exploring – This area is concerned with children using their senses and ‘having a go’ with new activities.

Active Learning – This area is concerned with children keeping on trying when they discover difficulties and enjoying their own achievements.

Creative and Thinking Critically – This area is concerned with children having ideas, making links and creating strategies.

Below are some images demonstrating COEL within the preschool.



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