Do you care what students think?
A friend and I were discussing the idea of student evaluation of teachers in order to improve teaching and learning. At the particular institution where this friend works, the idea was not well received by teachers. It might have been the way it was presented, perhaps the teachers feel threatened or are afraid of what might be revealed… or it might be the different perspective of a country and culture in which students are expected to show respect for teachers irrespective.
I was surprised that teachers might not want to know what their students think. Thinking about the learning process is just as important as thinking about what you learn. But, as Dylan William says in the video below, there are many teachers who ‘try to cause learning without the students’ help.’
I’ve posted before about how we articulated our learning beliefs and are constantly unpacking them to help teachers shift the focus in our school from teaching to learning.
Principle #5: Learning includes meta-cognition and reflection, which support learners taking ownership of their learning.
- Learners are actively involved in the learning process.
- Learners set specific learning goals and are supported in achieving them.
- The learning process is just as important as what is being learned.
- Students constantly reflect and make connections between past and new learning.
- Learners are always aware of the purpose of a task and how it will further their learning.
- There is a classroom culture in which thinking is valued and questioning is encouraged.
- The teacher doesn’t do all the talking or make all the decisions.
- Teachers invite feedback and act on it.
- At student led conferences, students talk to parents about their learning, their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and achievements.
Previous posts illustrating the learning principles: