What happens when we listen to our learners? Spoiler Alert! The path that is ahead of us becomes so much clearer. Access three tried and true practices districts, schools, and learner-centered leaders are using to give students a seat at the table to amplify their voices.
Get to know four learner-centered leaders whose actions inspire others to think big, take risks, learn from challenges, and share their learning process as they iterate, grow and, ultimately, make impactful changes toward more learner-centered models of education.
Authentic learning experiences can feel at odds with school systems and structures, but they don’t have to. Katie Martin shares how schools are pushing the boundaries to successfully orient toward relevant, meaningful, real-world learning experiences.
Leaders commonly use strategic plans or vision statements that describe the desire to develop life-long learners, global citizens, critical thinkers, and the like, yet a misalignment often occurs between the vision, policies, and practices. The tension between what we say we want our students to know and be able to do and what we prioritize and assess often tell a different story.
It’s important to understand how student’s emotions impact their attention, engagement, and what they learn. Scheduling time with each student to connect, learn more about their circumstances, their goals, and ideas, created a different dynamic that built empathy and allowed for more personalization and meaningful connection. Students also recommend, reaching out via text, calling them or just checking in every so often.
Effective distance learning blends both asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences to maximize the time together virtually to build community and learn collaboratively, while also providing autonomy for learners to engage in content, read, investigate and demonstrate mastery at their own pace.
After months of distance learning and countless conversations with educators, here's an overview of what successful practices have emerged, which include building relationships, flexibility, choice, feedback and creativity.
In the 2013–2014 school year, I was on Washington Middle School’s campus regularly. I was supervising teacher candidates at a local university, and as the newest member of the team, I ended up being placed at Washington—the most challenging of schools. I vividly remember walking down the halls marked with yellow caution lines to indicate on which side the kids were expected to walk.