Sunday, June 21, 2009

Student Led Conferences - Putting the student in the driving seat

What are student led conferences all about?
We have been influenced recently by Professor John Hattie’s latest research published in his book Visible Learning. He has researched the top 100 interventions that lead to greater student achievement. Developing student’s ability to talk about their progress and learning comes near the top of his list. We believe students need to be able to answer questions like;
· How am I going?
· Where am I going?
· What is my next learning step?
The purpose of student led conferences is to put the student in the driving seat to share their learning with their parents or caregivers. Teachers have observed how students are taking more ownership over their learning, knowing they will be sharing their progress and learning with their parents. Teachers are present to support and prompt individuals if necessary however they do not partake in each individual conference.

The Student Led conferences are a celebration of learning. They are an initiative to further build our vision concept of student empowerment. We have shared with parents that they are not a forum to discuss behavioural concerns or for discussing matters directly with the teacher, we are encouraging parents to set a time outside of the student led conference if such things need to be addressed
How do they work?
Conferences can last up to 45 minutes. Five to six student led conferences run at the same time in the classroom. Each child has an agenda that they follow. Parents can be involved in a variety of activities throughout the 45 minutes such as looking through their child’s learning books, playing a game to support learning, talking about goals, carrying out a science experiement or reflecting on next learning steps.
Will keeep you posted on how our first conferences go this week - the teachers have been amazing at letting students take the lead and true ownership.

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