Thursday, December 17, 2015

Breathe in, breathe out

This year I have been exploring "learner agency" in a Year 4, BYOD class. Like most classes all around the world, I have had a range of abilities from dependent to independent. I believe the teachers' role in an agentic community is not the gate keeper: 'the traditional, stand at the front and talk, I hold all of the knowledge and power and decision making' type gate keeper, no. An agentic learning community needs an expert lead learner. Someone who inspires growth and challenge from within each individual learner. So this is where I've developed this concept of "breathe in, breathe out".

It's probably not a new concept at all.  In fact, I was introduced to something similar at a Rudolf Steiner school in Napier a few years ago. I understood it as this: The day is a series of tides: and they had moments of high tides and low tides - the activities would change depending on which tide phase they were in.

So I approached this year, with new learners, new to 'learner agency' and agentic learning by 'breathing in': structure, goal setting, independent learning and reflection. And then 'breathing out': inquiry based, student decision making, goal doing (where you actually practise or work towards the goals you have set) and reflection.

All learners have flourished this year and I think it has benefited them by having the breathing space of breathing in to internalise their learning.