Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Learners should work harder than their Teachers!

I was privileged to sit in on a session that Anne Davies facilitated at the beginning of this year. Anne is an assessment guru residing in Canada. One of the comments she made has resonated with me ever since. She said that we need to get students to work harder than their teachers.
The more I have pondered this the more I have to agree. She shared the importance of learners being involved in assessing peers learning and building their own assessment literacy to make informed judgments about progress and high achievement.
Whilst sitting in classes recently I have been thinking about the traditional mental model we hold about teachers providing the right stretch and challenge for each learner to reach their potential. To get the learner working harder we need to flip that on it's head and teach learners how to give themselves the right kind of stretch. I am wondering how one might motivate and empower learners to build a habit of extending beyond what they can already do.


Carolyn Stuart said...

I too have been thinking about why it is as adults we have such a strong need to 'rescue' students all the time. Joan Dalton and David Anderson tell us that the person doing the most talking is doing the most learning. if this is true then in your average classroom who is doing all the talking. Most of the teachers I know are doing the job because they want to hep kids. I wonder why we find it so difficult to give over the ownership of learning.

Sarah Martin said...

Hi Carolyn, Am keen to push the barrow on this one. The more teachers can give over the locus of control the more potential there is for learners to be empowered and take ownership of their learning. The more teachers talk to students about being challenged and stretched in their learning the more students then come to understand how they can challenge themselves. Lots of pondering to do on this one. Sarah