Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Students owning the learning

The incredible shift that is occurring in our district right now has to do with students owning the learning.  How to make thinking about learning transparent to our students -- so that they engage and understand what their role in their education needs to be.  Regular use of a formative assessment model and standards based grading practices ensures that students begin to understand that they own their learning, not the teacher or the school.

I am delighted with this shift because it reflects what I have tried to do in the artroom with  choice based art education.  What I noticed last year is that when I gave students more freedom for making choices and thinking about what was in their head and heart, their engagement and pleasure in art making went up dramatically.
Digital Painting of a Sunflower by Lauren (6)
In fact, I heard students say they were initially a little afraid of TAB because it meant more "work" --and more thinking!  And it was more work for me and for them.  I created more resources and materials for them to engage with -- and they in turn had to turn up their energy for experimentation and making thoughtful work.  But overall, the result was an amplification of learning -- definitely above what a traditional teacher directed art assignment would have produced.

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