A query that keeps coming up.

Whenever I talk to teachers about My-Learning the same queries comes up – “What about Jimmy who is hideously behaved?” “What about Sally who has no English?” “What about Bobby who has high learning needs?” “What about children from low socio-economic areas?” “What about younger children?” How will all these children cope in a My-Learning classroom?

In short, I’m not entirely sure. I do know from my own experience that children who don’t have English as their first language, those who have behavioural problems and those who have learning and social needs have not only coped well in my classroom but grown hugely under this pedagogical system. I think the key is scaffolding all children, but especially those who you know will have difficulties. Then it’s important to fade this scaffolding away gently so the children can have success. From my experience, such children thrive on having this success as they feel so proud of their achievements. Another key idea is that children will rise to your expectations. They know I believe in them and will help them if they need it and will therefore meet my expectations for them. Lastly, this kind of programme allows for such differentiation and individualisation that, if you did have a child in the class who struggled immensely, you could tailor make a programme just for them, easily. My (biased) thought is that My-Learning actually is better for such children for this very reason.

However, what I don’t know is how children from lower socio-economic areas would cope. In my humble view, children are children and if you have a whole school culture of high behavioural expectations, high academic expectations and formative assessment practices you should be able to have success. I’d appreciate your comments on this though. As for younger children, I just don’t know. I do know that other self-directed learning models have been successful with younger children in the past and continue to work well. I also know that My-Learning has been implemented successfully in other schools from year 5-8 but again, I would appreciate your feedback on this.

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One thought on “A query that keeps coming up.

  1. Hi there, my principal found the article ‘Learning My Way’ in ‘School News’ today and forwarded it to me as he saw some parallels with what I do with the students in my class.

    So I’ve now been trawling through your blog and enjoying the content.

    In my class I set work for our big idea based mostly on Gardners Multiple Intelligences, De Bono’s Thinking Hats and Tony Ryan’s Thinking Keys. I want my students to have a variety of digital, book, arty, etc experiences in their learning. I want them to become independent learners who can solve problems and manage their time.

    I’ve had 12 children in my class during the last two terms, and I’m having four more moved in this coming term. My students cover a variety of learning levels and abilities, and are in Years 5-8. We are a small, rural school, decile 6, 40km from town. We have enough laptops and desktops for one each.

    I’ve found, so far in my class that I have six students who are independent and self-managing and look for extra challenges, and I have six students who do require set time spans, constant reminders and a good ‘kick up the bum’ – but this is usually because they are not good time managers, are easily distracted and sometimes freak out at perceived problems. We are setting new strategies this coming term, so it has been good to read your posts and take some of the experiences you had had back to my class.

    I have my own blog. I’ve posted stuff I’ve done with my current class and previous classes…. and I’ve got some good stuff coming up.

    So thanks for a great Blog!!

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