How can I support students to become self-aware and take responsibility for their own learning?

Essentially, this is about creating a climate in the classroom and in the school to cultivate habits and attitudes that enable each individual student to face learning challenges, difficulty and uncertainty with patience, confidence and creativity.

It is about developing young people with the appetite and capacity to face the challenges and uncertainties that life will no doubt throw at them during their lifetimes. Taking personal responsibility for our own development is an essential tool that young people need to be successful in today’s ever-changing world.

As a starting point, a one-page profile is a great way for students to begin to explore what works for them personally. This approach creates good awareness within students about the need to balance what is important to us (in order to lead happy, contented and fulfilled lives) and what is important for us (to stay healthy and safe, feel valued and have every opportunity to learn). Through this, they can discover what support they need to have to balance what is ‘important to’ and ‘important for’ them in their learning. Appreciation of their uniqueness in the ‘like and admire’ section of a one-page profile encourages self-esteem and self-confidence, both vital components of successful learning. The greater self-understanding that this approach brings about is portable, and will support learning for life. This short film explains how one-page profiles are used in personalising education.

Research suggests that when children have a good understanding of their own learning process, they learn faster and more effectively. Using a learning log is a useful way to support a student to reflect on their learning experiences and develop self-awareness as a learner. In their log, students are encouraged to look back at a learning experience and consider:

  • What they and others did
  • Who was there
  • What they learnt about what worked well
  • What they learnt about what didn’t

And then, to think about:

  • What this means they need to keep doing or do differently in the future.

Using this tool enables students to develop successful, reflective learning habits which they can use in the future and continually improve.

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