What makes a 'good' learner? How would the students in your classroom answer this question?
Sitting up straight? Listening to the teacher? Knowing all of the answers?
Hattie’s work suggests that a good learner knows how to draw upon skills and strategies to navigate learning, and understands that learning can and should be messy and complicated. Hattie insists that as teachers, we should privilege errors and mistakes. A good learner knows what to do when learning gets challenging.
Are students in your class provided with opportunities to make mistakes? Errors are fundamental. We explored the metacognitive aspects of learning and how we can promote 'thinking about thinking'. A good learner understands that learning is never finished, requires time, effort and motivation. It is essential that we begin to understand the importance of teaching students how to be a learner.
One idea that we discussed during the Visible Learning Symposium today was the value of a lesson plenary. We believe this could be a good starting point for getting students to think about what good learning looks like.
Why do we always cut the plenary off the lesson?
Time, incomplete work, marking, giving feedback, the lunch bell. We cannot neglect the plenary.
John Hattie’s work supports this notion and claims that the plenary is often the most important part of the lesson as it allows for students to develop their skills of metacognition and evaluate where they are at on their learning journey. It is our job to equip students with the skills to evaluate and reflect on their learning, particularly the challenges, and determine where to next.
It is imperative that we are providing opportunities on a regular basis for students to reflect on themselves as learners.
Sam and Lucy