From the mouths of our co-learners…….. our students

Well my New Year’s resolution of blogging once a week has well and truly been blown out of the water, but I think this first post may make up for it.  Well in my mind it does anyway 🙂

I’m fortunate enough to have just returned from the Global Apple Education Summit in Singapore.  The summit was an amazing experience with a mix of a fantastic setting SOTA, thought provoking presenters, (Simon Sinek, Bill RankinMarco Torres, Dan PinkJohn Couch and many others) great workshops and the opportunity to mix with like minded educators from around the world.

However, for me the most powerful part was on the last day when Dan Pink spoke to a panel of students on stage about what they thought about their learning. Specifically he asked them if they could tell us, the 500 teachers who made up the delegates of the conference, what advice we could take from them about what teachers/schools could do to enhance their learning.  So for a change they were the teachers and we were the students

So rather than waffle on about what they said, I’m just going to post it word for word – I think that’s the most powerful part. It will be even more powerful for our schools and students if we take on their advice.

  • Personal interaction when interviewing real people means you can ask and re ask to get the actual information you need – you can’t get that from text or an email.
  • All we want is support & structure but we also want independence in our learning, it’s important to find a nice balance for this.
  • Structure and guidance should be provided by the teacher, but curiosity, process and topic come from us the students.
  • 24 hour school or 24 hr access to learning.
  • I would like interdisciplinary projects over subject specific ones.
  • How much a learner gains from one task depends on how much they reflect, the same would go for a teacher
  • Teachers should encourage students to reflect. How much a learner gains from one main task depends on how the reflect.
  • I need more access, time and availability outside the school day. Teaching may end at 3:30, but my learning doesn’t.
  • I want more access to facilities to make my projects better. I want to come to school and work longer but the school says we can’t.
  • School can sometimes get in the way of learning.
  • I would like more resources to do the learning I like to do.
  • When the project is autonomous and open ended it can go anywhere.
  • When going against my mentor’s advice my marks suffered but I had a greater sense of achievement on the task.
  • With autonomy on the project I can be as creative as I want, when it’s teacher directed I have to follow the way they want.

As John Couch said as his closing remark The way we define our schools today will ultimately define our society tomorrow.”

By listening and taking on some of the ideas of students like these, we could be in safe hands in the future.

Added bonus section:
Not the actual videos from Simon Sinek and Dan Pink, but they give an essence of what they spoke about.

2 thoughts on “From the mouths of our co-learners…….. our students

  1. Perceptive comments from students about reflection and the intrinsic rewards of challenging self-directed learning tasks. My guess is that as teachers we need to be imporving our skills as facilitators of this learning… and to be modelling this reflective element in our won learning.

  2. Thanks for your comments Audrey, I think you hit the nail on the head with the phrase ‘challenging self-driected learning tasks’ as that was a very common theme from all the students who spoke about how they want engage in thier learning at school. You’re right that we do need teachers to look at how to facilitate this, whilst still keeping the skills of learning and the rigour of learning intact. It can be done, but is a large mind shift for our teachers to make.

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