CAS Tracking

CAS Tracking, or Classroom AS Tracking, takes the ground-breaking science and technology which we developed to improve pastoral care through AS Tracking, into the classroom.

Experts predict that, in the next 10 years, up to 40% of professional roles may be at risk to machines which will out-perform the straight-line speed of the human mind. Future-proofed human cognitive skills will be the ability to cognitively steer in novel contexts, to collaborate, & to make wise, self-aware judgements in a landscape shaped by social biases, fake news and data manipulation.

Designed with the challenges of 21st Century employability in mind, CAS Tracking develops pupils’ ability to steer their minds rather than just drive fast.

CAS Tracking improves pupils' ability to steer

Think of the mind as a car with steering as well as an engine.

The engine of our mind is what we use to store and use information as we drive through the world; that information may be about people, things or ideas. Our mind’s engine is roughly what we measure through an IQ test.

The steering of our mind adjusts where we focus our attention, how fast or slow we travel and how much effort we put into our thinking. If you have good steering, then your mind will be able to collect the information you need at the right time.

If you have poor steering, then no matter how powerful your mind’s engine, you may drive in the wrong direction, too fast or slow, and miss information you need. Steering enables us to collect information about the world, ourselves and other people. The most effective learners adjust their steering as they engage in different learning tasks, just like a good driver adjusts how they drive depending on the road surface, conditions and terrain over which they travel.

Schools can improve their pupils' steering using CLASSROOM ‘STEERING SIGNPOSTS’

CAS provides teachers with in-class ‘steering signposts’. Using these seven pairs of steering signposts teachers can signpost and improve their pupils' ability to steer.

The role of the teacher is to signpost the classroom road so that pupils can know when and which steering bias to adopt for the specific learning task in hand. There is no single, fixed, optimal set of signposts for any curriculum lesson. By signposting the learning task in hand, pupils can become aware of, and then learn to develop and choose, the optimal steering behaviour for themselves.

The aim of in-class steering signposts is to develop pupil agency and self-efficacy, to improve pupils’ metacognition and resourcefulness.

Pioneering steering assessment

Measurable assessment data showing the cognitive steering of the school, class & individual pupils

Targeted steering signposts

Targeted class signposts to improve cognitive steering in individuals and whole classes

Class tracking system

Tracking system to measure improvements in pupil learning attributable to improved steering

Pastoral-classroom data integration

Technology to integrate your pastoral & classroom targets and action planning

Does CAS Tracking work?

Our studies have show that students who can steer are more effective learners.Already successfully piloted with students at the University of Winchester, CAS Tracking has been shown to build more eeffective, independent, resourceful learners.

CAS Tracking builds on the work of John Hattie’s ‘Visible Learning’ and the UK government’s own research body EEF, who identify metacognition and teacher-pupil feedback as the two critical accelerators of resourceful pupil learning. The outcome of in-class CAS steering signposts should be improved learning-to-learn skills. CAS steering signposts are the opposite of a ‘teaching-to-learning-styles’ approach.

What research has been done to underpin CAS Tracking?

Led by Dr Simon Walker, STEER has been researching CAS Tracking since 2012. Steering cognition has been consistently shown to contribute up to 15% of academic outcomes over and above the influence of general intelligence.

In a series of small to large investigations across 25 UK secondary schools between 2012-15, Dr Walker's results showed that steering cognition consistently contributed a unique component of around 15% to academic outcomes over and above algorithmic cognitive ability, as measured by standardised IQ tests.

In these studies, steering cognition enabled a student’s attention to be steered and regulated optimally for the demands of different curriculum tasks. Walker contrasted steering cognition with algorithmic cognition, showing that steering cognition can be trained and improved in students (Walker 2014) and is directly affected by the quality of the teaching environment that a school provides. Unlike a student's CAT score, these studies suggested that steering cognition can be improved by signposting students'steering through peer or teacher-coaching approach.

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If you would like to know more about the science behind CAS & steering cognition visit our Research page or

Wikipedia- steering cognition page - research web site

Dr Simon Walker - primary researcher's web site