"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Why is meta-learning so important?

Yet again I have been very slack in blogging. Teaching full time has definitely put a curb on my time but not my enthusiasm for what I do.

Image by CarbonNYC
I really love this time in first term when things begin to sink in for students. There were quite a few moments in the last week when students were making connections and were able to successfully edit their work. One of my favorite phrases is "Oh yes, now I can see..." or "That doesn't make sense, I need to...". It is at this point you can see that they aware of their own learning. Often at these times I like to refer to Building Learning Power by Guy Claxton and his concepts of learning muscles and I like to point out to the students which learning muscle they are using in order to highlight the changes they are making.

This year I introduced a blog as one of my assessments. The students used their Google accounts to set up a blogger blog and used the blog to reflect on their learning each week. Some students found this really difficult and needed some prompting to write more meaningful reflections. Many students enjoyed using the blog to convey their thoughts and found that having their own online space was really helpful to follow their learning journey so far this term.

When a skill is mastered or there is significant improvement it is important to celebrate the small wins as
Image by deflam's photostream
much as the big ones. Like a great artwork it must always start somewhere before it becomes something that is marvelous to see. I had a long conversation with one of my students last week about how far she had come in her learning journey over the last 12 months. She was able to pinpoint how she had improved and what she needed to do in order continue to improve her skills. It was joy to my ears to hear her analysing herself and really critically evaluate her learning. She will be a life long learner and for this I celebrate her success.

This week one of my classes faces a major exam as part of their course. Today there is stress, tension and focus in the air as they work on a practice paper. Some really hate exams and are very nervous. Some feel anxiety as to what the exam will bring. This is an external exam not set by me and so they are trying to absorb all they have learnt in the last 8 months and put into practice all their skills. I am anxious for them also and will be relieved after Thursday.

So today I celebrate meta-learning. Being aware of your own learning. This skill will change and develop over time and it can be the thing that drives us to improve and take on board change and new challenges.

Favorite sites for the week:

Asian focus in New Aus curriculum

Google Keep

Until next time,

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