‘Imagine if we did this with kids’… I said in my previous post and, within a few days, some teachers have!
The learners work in mixed groups across two Year 6 classes and respond to the same question that we gave the teachers last week: ‘What does student ownership of learning look like’?
The teachers move between the groups, asking probing questions, encouraging the learners to think more deeply.
Responses are quite revealing!
- Teachers tell students where to go, but they choose their own route to get there.
- Teachers tell the students what to do, but they decide how to do it.
- People can have their own opinions and points of view.
- Freedom to learn and independence.
- Taking pride in your own learning.
- Thinking and reflecting about what and how you learn.
- Doing your work without letting yourself be distracted.
- We are all unique in our learning and thinking styles.
- Teacher opens the door, but only we can walk through.
- Choosing wisely where to sit and who to work with.
It’s only Day 2 of the school year and I know things will develop as the year unfolds. These young learners have teachers who value student ownership and will work at establishing a culture where this is real. They are part of a learning community where ownership of learning is valued and beliefs about how this takes place have been articulated and agreed upon.
Yet I can’t help but wonder:
- Have our learners really experienced ownership of their learning within a school context?
- Are the children saying the sorts of things they think teachers are looking for?
- Can our learners imagine what really owning your learning looks and feels like?
- Do adults really believe that children can be the owners of their learning?
- Is ownership of learning compatible with traditional models of school?
- How can we help children (and teachers) separate the notion of learning from that of ‘doing school’?
- Does our practice align with our beliefs?