Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Habits of Successful Learners and People

This sheet, sourced from here https://indulgy.com/post/nBHpXdDhD2/life-skills has given me a bit of inspiration and food for thought.

I am unsure who created this, so can not tell you that, but it is not mine and was shared on twitter.

This little sheet got me thinking though.  We have been a key competency based school since the creation of the wonderful 'new' curriculum.  We call ours local curriculum a 'thinking' curriculum.  We have used the Habits of Mind as our main driver for the key competencies.  Our curriculum is also framed around the pillars of learning (Learning to do, Learning to be, Learning to live together, Learning to learn.)  These pillars are great umbrellas for each of the Habits of Mind to fall under.

Our wonderful national curriculum based on Key Competencies is fabulous and I believe it is an absolute travesty that it is being lost amongst the burden of comparative testing and reporting on National Standards.

Just while I am on this soap box again, have a listen to Welby Ings in this latest recording.  He makes so much sense.   He hits right on the point I was trying to make in my assessment based post.  We can assess, but it needs to be diagnostic and useful to us, not comparative.  Assessment should build a picture of the child as a learner and directly assist us to work with them on their individual needs.  It should not be used to compare them against a completely irrelevant norm...i.e National Standards.

Through our play-based journey we have continued to focus on the HOM, but have also be working on dispositions that we believe learners need to have to be successful, not only as learners, but more importantly as people.  We have looked at these dispositions more from a Key Competency perspective.

These dispositions in my opinion are far more important than any National Standard and are what we need to be basing our programmes on. Play-based learning has led me nicely to this, because we are constantly reflecting on ways we can record the learning we are seeing and be able to talk about goals for children that are dispositions, rather than focusing on knowledge based academic goals.  These are what I really want to talk to parents about, they are the valuable things for us to be sharing.  They also fit beautifully with our Mantle of the Expert approach.

Through our journalling of children's diagnostic assessments and anecdotal notes etc, we have tried many ways of recording what we are seeing and the document above got me thinking that this could be a nice succinct way to show it.

What I have come up with below is just a first go.  It will probably be something I work on for a period of time and trial in my classroom.  They are intended to be something children work on during their whole time at our school, not just in their first year at school.  The main thing I did want to say about it is we can focus on these dispositions and encourage them, but many children will not be developmentally ready to take these dispositions on, they can begin to work towards them, we can model them and praise them, but I believe it is vital that we are aware all children develop at different speeds and dispositions are no different to cognitive learning.

Children also come from very different home situations, some will have had many of these dispositions modelled brilliantly, others not at all.  It is our job to work from where children are up to, not to judge the lack of what we think should have been taught at home.

And yes, I often despair over what children are coming in at 'these days' but I truly believe we need to work with what we've got, we can not change where they have come from.

And so below is the link for what I have come up with so far.  This will be a starting point, but thought I would share what I have so far.  The pictures used are all marked for re-use and are not mine (other than the power of yet.)
The link to the google doc is here.