Wow! I can’t believe we’re already at the end of the first course! It has been great working through this course as it’s forced me to take the time to reflect on my practice and really think about the reasoning behind why I do what I do. I have enjoyed reading through the posts of others and look forward to continuing on this journey in Course 2!
Increasing Student Agency
My teaching team has worked hard over the past few years to open up a lot of our units to allow for a lot more student voice, choice and ownership in their learning. Here are a few examples of this. We start the year with How We Express Ourselves, in which students explore the concept of originality as they work as an artist in a medium of their choice. In our Who We Are unit (with the central idea – transitions are a part of life), students engage in a guided inquiry looking at the physical, social, and emotional changes that children go through during puberty. They also have the chance to construct their own personal inquiry into an area of their choosing that relates to the central idea.
By opening up these units, we have seen huge growth in students’ engagement and in their approaches to learning. Students learn how to be good learners. They learn to manage their time and materials. They learn about goal setting and self-motivation. Arguably, the biggest benefit is the perseverance and resilience that begins to develop. So with all that said, the unit I have chosen to modify for this final project is one that we haven’t spent as much time working on, and doesn’t have as much choice for students. (more…)