Big Ideas
Chapter: Metacognition

(7) Learning About Learning

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-4-18-37-pmMany of our most transformational teachers make “how do you best learn?” a core question in their engagement with students.  And, as we learn more about how our strongest teachers grow, we see that skills are grown in different ways than mindsets, and that we have a variety of learning styles among  our participants.  By contrast, when we survey our partner programs’ approach to training and support, we see little explicit discussion of a “theory of learning” that drives our strategies. screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-4-20-08-pm

Many of our programs’ training and support models are built around teaching skills and actions by engaging exemplary models, breaking those skills and actions into small parts, practicing those parts, and bringing all the parts together. (This is the theory of development that implicitly underlies most rubrics, including the teaching as leadership rubric, TeachFirst’s teacher performance rubrics, etc.)  But that theory of development fits better for some of our adult learners than others.  And, that theory of development may be applicable to skills but has little applicability to mindsets and values (which more likely grow from an iterative cycle of relationships, experiences, and reflection). 

[See the Provocation Paper on “Learning Bets.”]

What assumptions do we make about how adults learn and grow and how do they inform our decisions?  Could we be more clear and explicit about the “theory of development” that undergirds our classroom and system leadership initiatives, and, if so, how? 
What is the intersection between this theme of metacognition and the earlier theme of cultural identity?  We are hearing from some teachers and programs about experiences revealing that allowing students to explore their identities, family, narratives, and histories of oppression help unlock conversations about how they best learn.

 

Check out this exploration of growth.

 

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