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A Graduated Response to Self Management and Learner Independence within a Hub System

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Started by Paul 12 Oct 2015 4:40pm () Replies (3)

Hi Everyone

This year at my school we have implemented learning hubs, team teaching and planning and we have utilised digital technologies on a much grander scale than previous years...

Our new approach to our learning environments and programmes and the layout of our environments has given the children much more opportunity for self directed learning, but it also requires a higher degree of self management and independent study skills. Obviously by Year 8 we would expect our children to have a good grasp of these skills, but it''s unrealistic for us to expect that Year 2's would be able to be as independent. So therefore we are looking at creating some expectations/guidelines around what level of independence the students have at each stage/level of their schooling.

Has anyone out there encountered similar issues? Any incites would be greatly appreciated. I.e have you created a guide to establish levels of independence vs teacher guidance at each stage?

Regards 

Paul

Replies

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2015 9:16am ()

    Hi Paul,

    There are so many schools working on this around NZ at the moment. From my observations it is worth considering:

    NZC and the KC's considering the competencies and what these mean to you and your school. Next I would look at the Nature of Learning and especially the seven principles of learning. While it will be helpful to have some sort of expectation/ guideline about how you will enable your children as self regulated learners we need to critically examine the type of learning environment we are creating and promoting:

    1. Is it student and learning centred? (and do we understand what this means- Absolum has some great thinking here)
    2. Does it promote and enable learning through social interaction and the social nature of learning? (interesting because as soon as we consider this there are 'noise implications' so often mentioned in flexible learning spaces)
    3. Are we developing quality relationships (even more critical in a collaborative teaching and learning environment than a traditional classroom to ensure we are continuing to challenge, support, prompt and provide and receive feedback to and from students) so that we understand the emotions and motivation of our learners? This is so important; if we have a list or profile of the skills/qualities / dispositions/ competencies we are seeking to enable in our children but we fail to 'know' their emotions and motivations the problem will be with our lack of attentiveness to the learner rather than them not 'doing' what is on our list.
    4. Does our environment motivate, challenge and support individuals or do we just put out 'must do's' and can do's'? (often low level worksheets and irrelevant busy work). In other words is our environment one of 'effective pedagogy' to promote learning? Many of the 'must do's and can do's I have seen would ensure my self regulation went out the window as a student as they are just busy work that would bore me to tears- or to disruption for a bit of fun (I was not the ideal student)
    5. To follow up to this, does our learning environment challenge and stretch learners (that is really our job- to cause learning to occur)?
    6. I mentioned effective pedagogy-does our environment reflect a conceptual, integrated approach to learning, are children engaged in learning experiences that span the learning areas of the NZC so they can see, feel and engage in the connections? 
    7. Do we have a mix of teaching and learning strategies and techniques, some guided teaching, some coaching, some direct instruction, some independent, small group and large group learning experiences. Are our groupings flexible and responsive to the needs of learners?

    If we consider these things we are in a good place to start creating our 'progression' or profile,  just avoid making any list related to years. We have some year 1 children who are self regulated at year 1 and some who still can't manage it by year 8 (or for some teachers and principals by age 65!). SOLO taxonomy is a nice way to start to frame up the type of thinking you are considering as it avoids years or ages rather looking at a progression that is more stage appropriate (and I can see this is what you are looking for).

    Once you have created this type of profile it is very instructive for teachers as they can look at it and ask "If we want our children to be able to .... as teachers we will need to specifically teach...." Without doing this we fail to be cognisant of the incredible complexity of trying to learning in a collaborative way developing self regulation (especially in a collaborative teaching and learning environment in a flexible learning space).

    I can't over emphasis this point: The creation of this type of profile is a really powerful way to consider, plan for and then implement the teaching strategies and learning experiences needed to enable self regulation.

    We are currently working on a progression but it is not finished to share. I am hoping others will share theirs with you as I have seen some around the place.

    I got wordy again but I hope this helps....

    Neill

     

  • Paul (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2015 8:36am ()

    Hi Neill

     

    Thanks heaps for that excellent response! You've given me lots of great ideas and lots to reflect on there.

    I've been exploring  gamification of self regulation, i.e. a game or badge type system, (recognition of skills or level attainment) that allows students to progress through levels or stages, to join the dots and to effectively learn, whilst appearing to be playing, (Fun theory

    This would mean that the children could progress at their own pace without being confined to a particular expectation for any year level. 

    This clip is quite interesting Youtube- The game layer on top of the world- Seth Priebatsch  

    I hope that all made sense :)

    Many thanks

     

    Paul

     

     

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