Assessing Progress Towards Student-Centered Learning Efforts

This post was originally published on Pam Austen‘s website, Musings in Real Time, and re-published on Learning Personalized with permission.

For the last few years we have been working towards a more student-centered learning model at our elementary school. We began by focusing on fostering more student independence and student-driven learning efforts. These efforts included:

  • Using student interests to drive our instructional decision-making
  • Encouraging students to work through learning struggles and,
  • Be more comfortable with risk-taking
  • Providing students (and teachers) with more opportunities to be innovative @gcouros
  • Encourage more student input and ownership of their learning goals

While we have made considerable gains in some aspects of this improvement goal, it feels like we are stuck in surface interpretations and isolated events of true student-centered learning.

This past summer I referenced Allison Zmuda’s, Learning Personalized the evolution of the contemporary classroom, pg 77-78 along with research from George Couros, Daniel Pink, and Tony Wagner to establish a criteria to help us measure these efforts during our district Instructional Rounds. The checklist tool combines Allison’s criteria for Personalized learning with conceptual understanding of the power of intrinsic motivation:

Daniel Pink @DanielPink: autonomy, mastery, purpose, and Tony Wagner’s @DrTonyWagner identified process towards innovation efforts: play (exploration), passion, purpose.

Next week our administrative team will test-drive this checklist tool. I will review the thinking behind the tool prior to our rounds and report on the effectiveness of this measure in a follow-up blog post. The goal is to establish a healthy balance between teacher-centered and student-centered learning.

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