FROM THE JUNIOR SCHOOL
3 March, 2023
What if we reframed rigorous learning not as harder work for students and teachers but as more meaningful work? Education writer Karin Hess, in her recent publication Rigor by Design, Not Chance: Deeper Thinking Through Actionable Instruction and Assessment, shares strategies to help educators empower students to develop their independence as learners and take greater ownership of their own learning.
Our College Learner Attributes have this same underlying purpose, supporting and guiding students of all ages to become better learners in parallel with their acquisition of curriculum content.
Deeper learning is a term often used in education writings. This refers to going beyond acquiring and applying facts, concepts, and skills. It requires students to know themselves better as learners; seeing themselves as problem solvers and as critical, creative thinkers.
Two of five key strategies that Hess encourages educators to continually focus on in learning activities are:
1. Ask questions of increasing complexity to give students multiple opportunities to make personal connections to what they know. Asking a series of probing questions that increase in depth and complexity is different from asking a single question for students to answer. This approach provides multiple entry points for students to make personal connections with what they already know; it also models for students how they can delve deeper by asking and answering their own questions.
2. Engage students in metacognition and reflection before, during, and after each learning opportunity to help students understand their own learning processes.
‘Why Engage Students in Metacognition and Reflection throughout the Learning Process?’ The human brain needs time throughout the learning cycle to solidify new learning by connecting it to prior, stored learning and then finding a way to make the new information personally relevant. Engaging students in metacognition and self-reflection before, during, and after each learning opportunity is essential in supporting all students in becoming independent learners.
Learning, of course, doesn’t only happen in a school setting. Thus all of us who interact with students in classrooms, in cocurricular settings and at home can contribute to the effectiveness of learning for young people through consideration of strategies such as these
The 2023 NIJSSA Swimming Carnival is to be held at the Riverside Swimming Pool on Thursday 9 March. A team of Year 3-6 swimmers will represent the College in the full-day program with nine schools participating and spectators are most welcome to support our team.
Head of Junior School