Sunday, 14 September 2014

Learner agency emerges across the Whitestone LCN at # Big Event No 2

Our second big event took place at Weston school and was another engaging event for our network.
Nicky welcomed Rob Mill (MOE) and Anne Pratt (principal from St Pat's Waimate new to our network). She also thanked and farewelled Siobhan Patterson  (DP St Joe's) who is taking on a principalship in Tirau next term.
Thanks to Nicky and her team for hosting this event and to all of the staff who attended.

The main focus for this event was one of our change priorities - student agency.

Thanks to Rose at Papakaio for the collation of our student agency reflections from the afternoon below.

Student Agency
There is a need to find ways to engage learners more directly and give them the “power to act” in their own learning.  The idea of student agency goes well beyond traditional views of student ownership, self regulation or student voice… Look at this 5 minute video it gives you an idea of what the term “Student Agency” refers to:
TKI definition: Student Agency refers to a combination of academic mindsets and learning strategies that have been demonstrated to advance achievement. Academic mindsets are evident in students who feel a sense of belonging in school; believe they have the capacity to learn, and see value in their participation.

Therefore our purpose is to clarify what student agency is for us and to develop our understanding and teaching practice/s:
  • as a network
  • as individual schools
  • as year levels

Discussion in groups: working backwards!
  • Key points for teachers: sticky notes activity: What does this mean for me as a teacher?
  • Working as a group do the shared reading from elearning infusion blog: Is there anything else for me as a teacher to think about?
  • Work as a group to fill out the chart below

You also have some readings to take away which can be accessed here:

Years 1 & 2
Years 3 & 4
Years 5 & 6
Years 7 & 8
What is Student Agency?
-Empowering -Meaningful
Management -Belonging
-Having the skills to have input into what they are learning and how with teacher guidance
-Self-extending system-metacognition -Knowing where they’ve been, where they’re going, where going to
-Engaged, motivated
-Ownership in their learning, taking control in a structured environment
-Student awareness-able to voice the why and the how
-A cluster of growth mindsets that engage with
cognition and places the learner in the driver’s seat
Why is Student Agency important?
-Move forward in direction of class
-Empowers students - they feel connected/have ownership/more engaged
-Empowers the learner
-The want vs the need (Some things that children need to know)
-To engage our students in their own learning and successes.  -Prepares them better for the world they face
What might Student Agency look like at our level?
Risk taking
Involvement - contributing to class
-Self directed
-Problem solvers
-Being in control of their learning
-Taking responsibility
-Students having choice with activities.  Choice when need extra support
-Following students interests.  Teaching skills/behaviours to be able to do this
-Student awareness of where to next etc
-Independent management of learning
-Children supporting and extending each other
Knowing where they are, and what they need to do next  in their learning.
-Choice, how where and what of learning.
-Concepts not contexts
-Highly motivated deep learning
What are we already doing as teachers to encourage/promote student agency with our learners?
-Goal orientated
-Giving choice
-Meaningful activities - linked to child’s interests
-Self directed
-Using family
-Sharing from home/involving whanau
-Encouraging children to self-monitor.  Teaching “where to next”
- Flexibility, reacting and adapting-teachable moments
- Modelling student agency
-Goal setting, next learning steps
-Differentiated learning
-Choice of how/where/what
-Diverse topics
-Collaboratively learning
-Glide time
-Active reflection
-Children using language of learning
-High expectations
-Mixed grouping
-Student choices
-Self directed
-Shared teaching
-Devices as choice
What are our next steps in changing what I do in my classroom.
-Knowing your children & families
- opening up our classrooms - welcoming
-Trial different approaches.
- Modify existing programmes.  “What am I doing that’s helping you/not helping you learn?
- The children need to be familiar with next steps and where they need to be
-Increasing understanding of agency for us and the children
-Reconfigure spaces
-More language of learning
-More aware of language
-Change our systems
-Take a risk
-Self management
What ‘gem’ will I take away from today’s discussions?

-Ask children what they want to learn/../get better at/in their learning?
-Getting feedback from the children on what the teacher does that helps them to learn
-Reinforcement were on right track - wer’e not above
-Choosing own devices
-Take a risk
We are on the right track
How can we share our ideas about Student Agency with our parents?
-Having them involved - coming into classroom.
-blogs, emails, newsletters, parent teacher meetings,
-Informal chats
-Jobs not done until parent comment on work

  • Allowing student voice to come through and giving children the tools to do this.
  • Changing my language and structures and expectations.
  • Students are connected to their learning and helping design the direction for their learning with guidance from teacher.
  • Giving the students ownership of their learning while we give them the tools to achieve this.
  • Children knowing their next steps and knowing how to get there and being motivated about their learning.
  • Are children thinking about their own learning and making choices for themselves?
  • To give children some say in how and what they learn.
  • Giving students ownership over their learning and next steps, providing supports along the way.
  • Student voice.  Students making their own decisions where they are /need to go.  Involving parents in process.
  • Student decisions, ownership over their next steps
  • Enabling students to learn to learn.  Skills and reflection
  • Specific teaching in key competencies
  • Giving them the guidance to grow their ability to be agentic and letting them be agentic - a partner in learning with deep vested interest.
  • Children taking increasing responsibility for their own learning.
  • Teachers and Whanau giving them the skills and encouraging the behaviours to facilitate this independence with learning.
  • Children having a say in what and how they are learning.
  • Student agency is having children take responsibility and have an active role in their own learning.
  • Students being actively involved in their learning - what they want to learn and taking ownership.
  • The choices the students make for, with and within the class and the varied volumes they make those choices.
  • Children ‘owning’ their learning, following their own paths, clear about expectations and next steps, self extending systems.
  • Student confidence.  Knowledge with what is expected of them as learners and self direction to use confidence and knowledge to show learning, identify next steps and grow as learners.
  • Thinking about the students first - putting their needs first.
  • Students have ownership of their learning and we as teachers give them the tools to achieve their goals.
  • Sharing decision making process with the child.  Putting the child at the centre.
  • Giving children opportunity to make decisions about what and how they want to learn.
  • Developing a growth mindset “understanding my learning”.Getting children involved in their learning - being active, participants with student voice.

Staff were enthusiastic about implementing some of their learning. Becci Huls from St Joe's initiated a student agency activity with her Year 3 class as an outcome of the event. You could learn more by visiting this link.

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