Self-Directed Student Learning

Report
West Virginia Achieves
Professional Development Series
Volume XIII
Self-Directed Student Learning
West Virginia Department of Education
Mission
The West Virginia Department of Education, in conjunction
with the Regional Education Service Agencies and the Office
of Performance Audits, will create systemic conditions,
processes and structures within the West Virginia public
school system that result in (1) all students achieving
mastery and beyond and (2) closing the achievement gap
among sub-groups of the student population.
Robert Hutchins
The Conflict in Education in a Democratic Society
“Perhaps the greatest idea that America has given the
world is education for all. The world is entitled to
know whether this idea means that everybody can be
educated or simply that everyone must go to school.”
What We Know…
An emerging body of research identifies characteristics of
high performing school systems.
These school systems have made significant progress in
bringing all students to mastery and in closing the
achievement gap.
These systems share characteristics described in The West
Virginia Framework for High Performing Schools.
HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL SYSTEM
SYSTEMIC CONTINUOUS
STUDENT/PARENT SUPPORT
SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS
INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES
CURRICULLUM MANAGEMENT
IMPROVEMENT PROCESS
CULTURE OF COMMON BELIEFS & VALUES
Dedicated to “Learning for ALL…Whatever It Takes”
Brainstorming Session
What are our ideas for improving
student achievement in our
schools?
Common Responses
• More financial
support
• Smaller class sizes
• More support staff to
assist teachers
• Fewer preparations
for teachers
• Higher teacher
salaries to attract
people into profession
• Students with stronger
work ethic
• More planning time
for teachers
• Fewer initiatives from
district/state/federal
levels
• Time for quality
professional
development
• More access to
technology for staff
and students
• Better facilities
Improving Student Achievement
• Academic goals for every student that are
clear, focused and widely understood
• Close monitoring of each student’s learning
on a frequent and timely basis
• Systemic plan to give extra time and
support to students experiencing difficulty
• Strong parent partnerships based on twoway communication
Improving Student Achievement
• Meaningful & timely information to every
teacher regarding how well his or her
students met school learning goals
• Collaborative culture in which teachers
work in teams to analyze student
achievement on common assessments,
develop strategies to improve current levels
of achievement, and help one another build
on the student’s strengths and address the
student’s weaknesses
Improving Student Achievement
• Safe and orderly environment, with clear
parameters for student behavior and
consistent enforcement of these parameters,
where everyone treats one another with
mutual respect
• General assumption that it is the school’s
job to see that students learn rather than
merely be taught
The Window or the Mirror?
The Self Directed Learner
System-wide instructional approach that
develops students as self-directed learners
who understand performance standards and
use reflective practice for improving work
Self-Directed Learners
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are responsible for their own learning
take charge and are self-regulated
define learning goals & problems meaningful to them
have a big picture of how specific activities relate to those
goals
develop standards of excellence
evaluate how well they have achieved their goals
have alternate routes or strategies for attaining goals,
correcting errors and redirecting themselves when plans do not
work
know their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with
them productively and constructively
Self-directedness
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“means more than merely taking
initiative. It means that as human beings,
we are responsible for our own lives. Our
behavior is a function of our decisions, not
our conditions. We can subordinate feelings
to values. We have the initiative and the
responsibility to make things happen.”
Stephen R. Covey
How do educators nurture student selfdirection and personal efficacy?
• What must be in place for this to occur?
• Must the roles of the various educators
change?
• Must the roles of the students change?
• What about the roles parents play in the
education of their children?
Instruction Pillar
• Nurturing & supportive
classroom environments with
high expectations
• Research-based instructional
management practices
• Standards-based framework
for unit & lesson design
• Differentiated instructional
model
• High-yield instructional
strategies
• Formative & performance
assessments
• Adjustments of instructional
time by grade, class, school
• Integration of “writing to
inform” & comprehension
development strategies
• System-wide approach to
student acceleration through
scaffolding & previewing
• Instructional support system
for teachers
• Instructional monitoring
system for data collection for
school and district
improvement
“ To teach is not to transfer knowledge but to
create the possibilities for the production or
construction of knowledge.”
Paolo Freire, Author
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Teacher and Student Roles
Teacher as Coach or Facilitator
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Nurturing and supportive
Respect for individual differences
High expectations for all
Instructional management practices that provide focused,
productive classrooms
Differentiated instructional strategies
Research-based instructional strategies
Formative assessments to inform instructional practice
Performance assessments
Data analysis, cooperative planning, reflective practice
The kind of schools we need would be staffed by
teachers who are as interested in the questions
students ask after a unit of study as they are in the
answers students give. On the whole, schools are
highly answer-oriented. Teachers have the
questions, and students are to have the answers.
Even with a problem-solving approach, the focus
of attention is on the student’s ability to solve a
problem that someone else has posed. Yet the most
intellectually demanding tasks lie not so much in
solving problems as in posing questions.
Elliot Eisner, Stanford University
Students as Engaged Learners
• Set goals
• Choose tasks
• Develop assessments and standards
(rubrics) for the tasks
• Actively develop repertoire of
thinking/learning strategies
• Develop new ideas and understanding
in conversations and work with others
Performance, of course, means the ability to
do something; it is active and creative.
Recognizing a correct answer out of a
predetermined list of responses is
fundamentally different from the act of
reading, or writing, or speaking, or
reasoning, or dancing, or anything else that
human beings do in the real world.
Linda Darling-Hammond
Stanford University
Engaging Practices Seen in High
Performing Schools
• Authentic, challenging & multidisciplinary tasks
• Generative, performance-based, seamless and
ongoing assessment
• Interactive and generative instructional model
• Collaborative, knowledge-building and empathetic
learning culture
• Heterogeneous, equitable and flexible grouping
practices
What might we see in a system
focused on developing self-directed
learners?
• Standards-referenced descriptions of student
learning
• Performance criteria and standards made
public
What might we see in a system focused
on developing self-directed learners?
School-wide focus on before, during and after
instruction strategies designed to develop
student self-direction and efficacy
What might we see in a system focused
on developing self-directed learners?
• Instructional and assessment rubrics
• Portfolios for self-assessment
• Student-led conferencing
Rubrics
Instructional
• Teach as well as
evaluate
• Help students
understand goals of
the task
• Guide students in selfdirected planning and
goal setting, revising
and editing
Assessment
• Used by teachers to
score and grade
student work
Portfolios
• Collections of student work representing a
selection of performance
• Student’s best pieces and the student’s evaluation
of the strengths and weaknesses of the pieces
• One or more works-in-progress that illustrate the
creation of a product, such as an essay, evolving
through various stages of conception, drafting and
revision
Turning a writing notebook into a portfolio
• Arrange all works of writing from most to least effective,
including all evidence of the writing process behind each
final draft.
• Reflect on two best works. On a separate sheet of paper
for each work, answer these questions:
– What makes this your best (second best) work?
– How did you go about writing it?
– What problems did you encounter?
– How did you solve them?
– What goals did you set for yourself?
– How did you go about accomplishing them?
• Place this evaluation of your process and product in front
of each final draft when completed.
Portfolio
• Answer these two questions on single
sheets of paper at the front of your portfolio:
– What makes your most effective work different
from your least effective work?
– What are your goals for future writing?
• Include an illustrated cover or title page and
a table of contents at the beginning of your
portfolio.
What is student-led conferencing?
Student-Led Conferences
Process of preparing for and conducting conferences
allows students to
• look at their own performances in the classroom
• organize a presentation about their learning
• carry out that presentation
• reflect on the effectiveness of the presentation
with goal of improving future performances
What do we mean by authentic?
The real value of portfolios as documents of
authentic learning and quality of work is in
the fact that they can, when shared with an
audience beyond the classroom, motivate
students to do a better job than they might
normally do.
Authentic Assessment
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How are you doing?
What do you need to work on to improve?
What strategies could you use to improve?
What have you learned, and how can you
use it beyond the classroom?
Intrinsic motivation is the engine for
improvement. If it is kept alive and nourished,
quality can and will occur. If it is killed, quality
goes with it.
W. Edwards Deming
“In many schools, parents stand on the
periphery of the school community, some
feeling hopeless, helpless, and unwanted.
Parents must become active participants in
the assessment process.”
International Reading Association and the
National Council of Teachers of English
Joint Task Force on Assessment 1994
How do educators nurture student
self-direction and personal efficacy?
Table Talk
• What are the new ideas worth pursuing?
• Has your thinking changed?
• What are the next steps in the development
of self-directed learners in your
school/system?
Resources
• Benson, B., & Barnett, S. (1999). Student-Led Conferencing
Using Showcase Portfolios. Corwin Press, Inc.
• Danielson, C., & Abrutyn, L. (1997). An Introduction to Using
Portfolios in the Classroom. Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development.
• Michigan Schools in the Middle. High-Performing Teams.
(2002). Central Michigan University.
• WVDE Office of Middle Level Education. Reading as a Tool
for Thinking and Learning. Middle Level Education Cadre
Professional Development available on-line at
http://reinvent.k12.wv.us.
• WVDE Office of Middle Level Education. Student-Led
Conferencing. Middle Level Education Cadre Professional
Development available on-line at http://reinvent.k12.wv.us.

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