Develop KASH

I recently read a book* where I came across this acronym. It stands for Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits.

KASH is a process of growth. It is a process that learners go through for learning to become embedded; to become a habit. Teachers can help learners develop KASH so that new knowledge they gain is used till it becomes an unconscious thought. Effective teachers know that it is one thing for learners to gain new knowledge but it is something else for them to apply this knowledge.

For example, if a learner knows and becomes skilful in how to add three digits to three digits, can they apply this knowledge in a word problem? Can they routinely use this in a variety of contexts? Can they apply it in real life contexts? What is their attitude when they see a problem that involves addition?

Once learners gain new knowledge, it should never be treated in isolation. Provide opportunities for repeated practice, the more the practise, the better developed the skill becomes.

Think of children in early years. The way their learning develops is a good model of the process of KASH. When starting to write, they start off with a lot of mark making until they learn how to write recognisable letters. After a number of attempts the skill becomes well developed. The process does not stop there. They go on to apply this knowledge and skill to writing their names, sentences, stories and so on. Writing eventually becomes a habit.

Think about the learners currently in your care, how are you developing their KASH? What is the quality of their KASH? What are the barriers to developing their KASH?

Some strategies that can be used as a starting point in developing learners KASH are

  • Set high expectations. What is the final destination? What habits (H) will learners have by the end of the unit of work? Refuse to be limited by the learner’s current state, desire the best for the learner and make that your expectation.
  • Start from the learners starting point. Find out what their current level of KASH is through pre-assessment.
  • Define the learners’ destination. Where are you taking them to?
  • Look for proof or evidence that learning has taken place.
  • Set challenges, give the learners opportunities for practise. Practise makes permanent!
  • Finally, give feedback. Let the learners know how well they are doing and what they can do to move to the next step in their learning.


*Teaching Backwards by Andy Griffith and Mark Burns.

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