12 Aug. 01
Re: Curriculum: Occasional Papers
Fundamentals of Person-centred Learning
Those involved (leaders or "authority figures") are sufficiently secure within themselves and in their relationships to others that they experience an essential trust in the capacity of others to think for themselves, to learn for themselves.
- Teachers need to understand the potential of person/student-centred learning in comparison with traditional teaching styles;
- Teachers need to feel unthreatened/"safe" when experimenting with this approach;
- "Thinking" and "learning" require formality; direct teaching of the former and statistical review of the latter.
CoRT 1 emphasising the breadth of thinking fits the need for the formal teaching of thinking skills.
The facilitative persons share with others � students and possibly also parents or community members � the responsibility for the learning process
Curricular planning, administration; operation; funding; policy making, are all the responsibility of the group involved.
Thus, a class may be responsible for its own curriculum but the total group may be responsible for the overall policy.
The responsibility is shared.
CoRT and Six Hats Thinking:
These form the foundation for planning the formal �thinking' element in the curriculum.
Classes are aware in course documentation of curriculum strands, achievement objectives and indicators for the three Essential Learning Areas covered under the Social Science umbrella.
Matrices of these data are available.
Students are able to plan their studies based on the curriculum structure.
Planning documents will be stored in the "Assessment and Learning Portfolio".
Shared responsibility suggests a need for formal communication with parents to explain the role of de Bono Thinking in the curriculum, the mechanics of student curricular design and parental obligations in their review and appraisal of the contents of the Assessment and Learning Portfolio.
The facilitators provide learning resources � from within themselves and their own experiences, from books and other materials, or from community experiences
The learners are encouraged to add resources of which they have knowledge or in which they have experience. The facilitators open doors to resources outside the experience of the group.
Resource lists are formal lists.
They could include:
- documents including books;
- human resources;
- internet sites.
(The "Anytown Town Planning Simulation" is based on contacts with community authorities. The value of these contacts including the prerequisite that students both select the authorities and arrange interview times with them opens doors for teachers unused to this process.)
The students develop their own programmes of learning, individually or in co-operation with others
Exploring their own interests, facing this wealth of resources, they each make choices as to their learning directions, and they carry the responsibility for the consequences of their choices.
- The basis for learning are the intentions of The New Zealand Curriculum Framework and the content of each of the Essential Learning Area curriculum statements;
- CoRT and Six Hats Thinking provide the mechanisms to achieve effective student- based planning; for example, exploring interests; selecting resources; choosing learning directions; accepting; personal consequences for their successes and failure�
- The planning would be undertaken in a teams setting. Teams management provides greater possibilities for course analysis and choice, sharing and peer review.
The experiential element in co-operative teamwork is invaluable.
A facilitative learning climate is provided
In meetings of the class or of the school as a whole, an atmosphere of realness, of caring, and of understanding is evident. The climate may spring initially from the person who is the perceived leader. As the learning process continues, it is more and more provided by the learners for one another. Learning from one another becomes as important as learning from books or films or community experiences.
- Weekly class meetings as promoted by Dr William Glasser.. The teacher need not facilitate these meetings.
- The "timetabled" nature of these meetings gives the process credibility and offers students a formal occasion to undertake peer and self-review.
- Classroom meetings offer an opportunity for the teacher to undertake formal assessments.
The focus of the learning centre is primarily on fostering the continuing process of learning
The content of the learning, while significant, falls into second place. Thus, a course is successfully ended not when students have "learned all they need to know," but when they have made significant progress in learning how to learn and what to know.
- Learning "goals" for both teacher and student will be formally set;
- These goals can be shared as a complement to the concept of "the learning community".
- The achievement of their personal or team goals can be recorded by students in the "Record of Learning".
- The process of learning as an individual and as a team member is the priority. The formal teaching of de Bono Thinking tools will facilitate this process.
- "Conferencing" with students will become a key element in the learning process.
- Learning "what to know" offers potential for CoRT lessons beyond the scope of CoRT 1.
The discipline necessary to reach the students' goals is a self-discipline
This is recognised, accepted and applied by the learners as being their individual responsibility.
Self-discipline replaces external discipline.
- Self-discipline is enhanced by formality, familiarity and practice;
- The recording of the learning process (self-appraisal; peer appraisal�) adds formality and a sense of achievement and success;
- How will recognition of "achievement and success" be acknowledged?
- a combination of student, teacher and parent affirmation in the Record of Learning?
- a more comprehensive documentation of "learning".
The evaluation of the extent and significance of each student's learning is made primarily by the learner him or herself
Student self-evaluations may be influenced and enriched by caring feedback from other members of the group and from the facilitator.
- Evaluation of learning is trichrotomous: student, parent and teacher.
- Student evaluation must include suggestions based on strengths and weaknesses, for the next step in learning.
- This may best be achieved in a variety of settings:
- team evaluation;
- teacher-student conferencing;
- parent-student discussion.
In this growth- promoting climate, the learning tends to be deeper, proceeds at a more rapid rate, and is more pervasive in the life and behaviour of the students than learning acquired in the traditional classroom
This comes about because the direction is self-chosen, the learning is self-initiated, and whole persons, with feelings and passions as well as intellect, are invested in their process.
Rogers promotes a balance in the classroom between "emotional learning" and "cognitive learning". He speaks about the "mind" coming to school and the body and emotions staying away.
His preference is for experiential learning. Simulation activities fit many of Rogers' criteria for effective learning.
HOD Social Sciences: Tikanga-a-iwi