Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Baby, you've been on my mind (Linda Ronstadt)

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Meta cognition, a.k.a. learning to learn, has been on my mind this week. 

Incidentally, it's our school motto and features on our gate. So I see it every morning as I arrive at school. That constant reinforcement is pretty cool.

Why is it our motto? Well, because when students are aware of their thoughts and actions it makes them move in a positive and focused direction.

My students have set their own learning goals which they own. I check their commitment to them and they ditch them if they are not totally committed.

From then on it's a pathway to success through hard work and persistent effort coupled with thinking about what they are doing. That in turn feeds the belief that they can succeed.

The real trick I am keen to see develop more is students maintaining their focus in the learning centre when other students go off task. Because of the learning centre lay out with its variety of study locations, it does happen more and more that meta cognitive students realise they have no control of that other student but they can maintain their own focus.

I had an interesting conversation with a student yesterday who was wanting to know how he could gain enrichment (a great scheme by which self-directed learners can work from home one day a week). I explained that he needed to do just as I've outlined above - divorce himself from a tight group of other boys who distract him and focus on his own learning.

He listened carefully and nodded his understanding. Now I need to see him do it. If he does, and I think he will, he will have grown as a self-directed learner and be able to pursue a more positive path.

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