How can I empower students to own their own learning?
Carol called questions like this burning questions. This is a burning question in my professional life. I’ve been saying it and trying it since 2011, when I first learned about Alan November’s book called, Who Owns the Learning? I struggle in my current situation because teaching and learning are much more traditional and academic than what I’ve been used to. I sometimes feel I am going uphill in a rowboat.
I don’t ever want to give up, but sometimes I struggle passing the learning torch on to my students.
I am trying to help students own learning, but to tell the truth I’m a little discouraged now. Here, perhaps as a reminder to myself, are some things I’m attempting:
- Self-assessment checklists of learning
- Tests can be retaken after students master the material
- Student learning presentations to parents by students instead of parent teacher conferences
- Students have a safe place to own their strengths and weaknesses, where they don’t have to pretend to be something they aren’t
- Authentic audiences for student work–pen pals, a global audience through global projects, Twitter, and our class and individual blogs
- Less emphasis on grades
- Figuring out problems instead of easy answers
- Student classroom jobs
- Students believe: “All are students, all are learners”
I would appreciate any advice. What am I missing that I need to try or renew?
Here are a couple of images that inspired me today: