We share a deep passion for being lifelong learners ourselves and fostering lifelong learning and student engagement. During our webinar, we:
- Discuss our experiments in regard with student engagement
- Discuss our successes and challenges in achieving student engagement
- Share possible solutions and connect with current pedagogical trends including inquiry-based approaches and learner agency
- Look at possible methods of developing lifelong learners
Our goal is to connect with educators by presenting a model of continuous learning. We start by looking at inquiry and what it really means to create an inquiry-driven classroom. We target to move beyond the KWL and share teaching and learning strategies that can come handy to every educator, in every classroom.
Teachers and students as lifelong learners
We then zoom into the role of the teacher and student in regard with agency and empowerment. How can we create ownership for students, involve students in planning, design tasks alongside students, co-create success criteria with students, and ensure that students are an active, vocal part of everyday teaching and learning.
The webinar challenges the idea of whether this is one fits all approach or does this vary depending on each individual learner. In particular it tackles questions such as –
- What is the difference between an adult learner and a child?
- What are the key factors and challenges in achieving this model of continuous learning?
- How can this model be made to work in different contexts?
Authentic learning and purposeful student engagements
We suggest that authentic learning and purposeful engagements are two possible solutions. Authentic learning can often start with “exposure” to a new idea or thing. It then takes wings and drives a child’s “curiosity”. Then, we as teachers should provide opportunities exploring and “attempting”. Finally, we “practice”, we fail, we make mistakes, and we happen upon a new idea!
Finally, we explore ways teachers can try to frame learning for students. We explore how the words we choose in framing new learning can influence how students view the value of this learning. Our discussion looks at words that impose learning on, invite students into, and empower students in learning opportunities. Ultimately it is not how we increase engagement but how we, as educators, foster a love of learning within our school community of learners.
“Work is what we do for someone else, learning is what we do for ourselves” – Ron Ritchhart
How we ensure continuous learning
We emphasize how it is fundamental to the continuous learning model that learning takes place in all contexts – at home and in school. We suggest ways to ensure continuous learning replaces “homework” and becomes more relevant and meaningful.
To ensure our home learning experiences are truly connected to school and empower students to have agency and voice, we use the Toddle Classroom where children:
- Kickstart discussions on new interest-areas and hobbies
- Share responses to learning experiences through photos, videos, audio- notes, collages, and more
And where teachers:
- Provide personalized feedback to each student using audio or written notes
- Get insights into different interests of a child and connect it to learning at school
- Involve parents in a meaningful manner through anecdotes and photos
For us, Toddle Community is a powerful resource to discover home-learning experiences that we can share with our students. For example, we love the learning experience collection called ATL Adventures at Home. These 26 learning experiences have been created by Geraldine De Fazio and are really meaningful and relevant to ensure authentic continuous learning!
Fostering student engagement through continuous learning is a mindset and we must embrace it through experimentation and play! We hope you enjoy our ideas and strategies, please do share your thoughts and feedback with us by joining our facebook group “Building student engagement and agency”.
Watch Colin’s and Neil’s detailed webinar here.
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