Tag Archives: Student Agency

Part 1: Student Agency? Teacher Agency? School Agency? Customization-Motivation-Equalization: School Culture

Why is student agency, teacher agency and school agency and the customization of learning crucial to motivation and equalization? We need to talk about agency on many levels.

Tom Vander Ark in his video talks about key attributes required to develop school agency and student agency.

Agency and Technology – Tom Vander Ark

Article: Elements of High School Agency Environments by Marie Bjerede Dec 17th, 2015

According to Tom Vander Ark Student agency has three key features:

Customization-individualized learning path

Motivation-student motivation is key

Equalization-all students-all ability levels

In a school with high agency Tom Vander Ark states that students with agency will be able to answer the following questions.

  • What are you learning?
  • Why are you learning this?
  • What do you need to do to move to the next level?
  • How they will learn.
  • How they will demonstrate.

Tom Vander Ark calls this: VOICE & CHOICE

High agency students:

  • Customize their learning
  • Have intrinsic motivation
  • Co-curator of their pathway
  • Have efficacy

The relationship between agency and learning:

Students with high agency are able to transfer knowledge. These students have deeper skills.

  • Think critically
  • Collaborate
  • Think Creatively

What does a school look like that supports agency?

Culture:

  • Relationship between students and teachers.
  • Respected as learners
  • Responsibility as learners

Advisory:

  • Pairing of a group of students with a teacher possibly for their whole education at a particular school (critical in secondary schools)
  • Meet 2/3 times a week
  • Build relationship with students
  • Advocate for that group of students

Learning:

  • Voice & Choice
  • Some path flexibility
  • Publishing to a broader audience
  • A portfolio

Next post:  So how does a teacher develop agency?

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 3: The Teacher

Student/Learner Agency is essential if we are preparing our learners for their future. Student/Learner Agency starts from a child’s first year of school for the teacher. In previous posts I’ve talked about the student and the task and now I’ve added the teacher. All three components are crucial to Student/Learner Agency. Student-Teacher-Task

The Role of the Teacher

Plans collaboratively for student needs based on a sound knowledge of curriculum and students.

Refers to the 5 essential IB elements – Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action.

Provides tools and strategies for students to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning e.g. pre-Assessments, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, etc.

Supports students to use evidence when personalising and revising their learning goals.

Clarify students’ misconceptions, in order to refine individual learning goals.

Discusses connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Help students make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.

Supports students to identify ‘stretch’ goals and set goals to achieve them.

Plans collaboratively to meet student needs based on a sound knowledge of exemplary teaching practice.

Develops students’ metacognitive skills by modelling the language of thinking, and providing tools and strategies to assist them to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning.

Monitors students for cues and notices when students need assistance.

Makes students responsible for establishing deliberate practice routines.

Provides students with a choice of learning activities that apply discipline- specific knowledge and skills including literacy and numeracy skills.

Facilitates processes for students to select activities based on agreed learning goals.

Supports student to select learning engagements that support their areas of strength and areas for development.

Ensure dialogue is distributed, so that teacher and students both take an active role.

Raises students’ awareness of the characteristics of inquiry and the process of inquiry.

Involves students in adapting the learning space to support everyone’s learning.

Shares responsibility with students for reinforcing agreed learning expectations and refers to agreed routines and protocols throughout the lesson.

Paces the lesson, giving students enough time to intellectually engage with the concepts, reflect upon their learning and consolidate their understanding.

Demonstrates respect for all students’ ideas and ways of thinking.

Negotiates group arrangements with students, appropriate to particular learning goals.

Designs activities that incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Present concepts of the discipline in multiple ways to all students and identify diverse perspectives when presenting content.

Supports students to hold each other to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Facilitate students’ self-assessment by giving them tools to assess, and reflect on, their own work.

When articulating assessment requirements, the teacher uses examples of student work to demonstrate the expected standards.

Organises opportunities for students to articulate what they have learnt and to say which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Explain the taxonomy used to structure the learning activity and to inform the assessment criteria, so that students understand the intellectual demands of the task.

Provides students with opportunity to reflect critically on the strategies they have used to complete the learning task.

Negotiate assessment strategies with students, ensuring these are aligned with learning goals.

Supports students to assess their own use of academic language and measure their own progress in this area.

Support students to critique one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Uses a variety of formative assessment activities to help students assess their own progress.

Provides opportunities for immediate feedback. Kunyung PS

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 2: The Task!

In the previous post I wrote about the behaviours of a learner developing Student Agency. In this post I’m describing the elements of tasks which empower Student Agency.

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Supports students to identify their learning goals

Encourages self-responsibility.

Allows students to be immersed in the possibilities open to them.

Provokes thinking beyond the known, opening up further possibilities.

Makes connections to appropriate tools e.g. pre-tests, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, reflection, etc.

Incorporates a variety of transdisciplinary skills.

Incorporates cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Makes connections to previous learning, reflections and evidence.

Designed to allow students to achieve their learning goals.

Allows for connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Provides a range of options for students e.g. teacher focus group, peer tutoring, hands-on, thinking routines, etc.

Develops students’ metacognitive skills, providing tools and strategies to assist them to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning.

Makes students responsible for establishing deliberate practice routines.

Provides students with a choice of learning activities that apply discipline- specific knowledge and skills including literacy and numeracy skills.

Allows for students to select activities based on agreed learning goals.

Allows for the use of the characteristics of inquiry and the process of inquiry.

Allows for students to intellectually engage with the concepts, reflect upon their learning and consolidate their understanding.

Allows for group arrangements, appropriate to particular learning goals.

Incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Supports students to hold each other to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Supports students to generate their own questions that lead to further inquiry.

Supports students to use different representations to develop their understanding of particular concepts and ideas.

Incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Includes multiple entry points.

Supports the development of academic vocabulary through oral and written construction.

Involves the community – parents, peers, other classrooms.

Various assessment tasks and tools for students to select from to assess and reflect on their own work.

Allows for a variety of thinking routines.

Promotes the use of evidence and assessment criteria to support assessment outcomes.

Provides opportunities for students to articulate what they have learnt and to say which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Allows for the critique of one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Builds in a variety of assessment, reflection and feedback systems (teacher, self, peer). Kunyung PS

Quality planning, accurate assessment, point of need learning goals and rich tasks are required to develop Student Agency. Part 3 will outline the role of the teacher.

Cheers Nina

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