A bit of a gap since I last wrote. We've been beavering away preparing resources and structures for the new programme and neglected this site. We've really been exploring the Graduation Stages and how we will relate these to assessment. I'll post more on this as soon as we're happy with what we've got.
Over the past few months, when I've spoken to people about the programme I'm often met with something along the lines of 'yes we're doing a Learning to Learn course as well. It's a personal crusade of mine to rid the world of this term. Please don't get me wrong, much of the theory and delivery on these programmes is excellent, but unfortunately the term is banded so much that it now covers a whole multitude of sins. From programmes that teach good study skills to programmes which incorporate planning and review skills with mind maps along the way. All good stuff, but do the students really transfer these skills if they are simply taught them in lessons or if the real focus is always on the assessment of outcomes?
Yes, we want young people to learn useful skills and techniques, but do we give them enough time to develop habits of learning? I've spoken about this already, so I won't go on, but do we spend enough time with students exploring what habits we should developed rather than how they are learned? If we did perhaps we would begin to recognise that there are other aspects of learning that students need to develop and give these aspects parity of esteem in the curriculum. For example, If a child is struggling with fractions in Maths we don't reprimand them, rather we help them and allocate enough curriculum time to enable the young learners to master fractions. However when a young person is late to a class or is out of lesson without permission, we reprimand them and expect the issue to be resolved. Why don't we recognise the need to build these aspects of a child's learning into our curriculum from an early age?