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Letting pupils lead the learning

Discussion in 'Primary' started by miss googoo, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    Is there anyone out there who let their children lead the learning in a topic? I don't just mean asking them what they want to learn about a topic before we start it e.g Victorians. I mean letting them loose with the internet and books in pairs to research what they want and take it as far as they want with little teaching input. This seems to be the way our school wants to go but i'm a little dubious.
    Do you do this? If so how successful is it and how good is the learning that takes place?
  2. Lottes

    Lottes New commenter

    I started by delivering a study skills session first in the library showing them how to research, what books to use, how to use the 'Oliver' search system..etc.
    Our librarian is very good as well, so perhaps approach your school librarian and move your class over there occasionally for these research-based lessons?
  3. Thanks,
    Sounds good but we don't have a libarian and our library is the size of a postage stamp but I would love it if we had one that we could actually take the children into to learn.
  4. I would love to have a go at that, but it would concern me if we weren't hitting the Programmes of Study in the NC. How do you make that happen without intervention?
  5. Exactly.
  6. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    I dothis twwo or three time a term. It's great and loads of NC statements are hit. I just watch, towards the end of the school year that we have covered everything. It's easy to teach although the kids do produce reams and reams of stuff that takes ages to mark. It's usually of a good standard though.
  7. Oh I can see that working, if it's not done all the time. I'm going to give it a go...after SATs!
  8. My school is going down the route of child led learning. Big mistake I think. Given half the chance, the boys in my class would do an in depth study of Superman. Choose the way in which they record - another big mistake because when they to Year 6 and they have to produce a particular style of recording they won't have a clue. I still think we need to teach them first before they get let lose.
    I still think children need to be taught facts as will as skills. Without knowledge, how can children develop further skills. I would hate my child to grow up saying I don't know one thing about Science or Geography but I can turn on a computer and do an awesome PowerPoint.
  9. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    The boys in my class would just want to do a project on Dr Who or Star Wars. The girls would want to do ponies or clothes. If they are just going to do what they want, what is the point of them coming to school at all? They could just go round their mate's house and do it all there.
  10. and in 2030, Primary schools will then be full of adults having literacy and maths intervention because they can't read or write because they went to "Do it yourway Primary" in 2012.
  11. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I went to a "do it your way" primary in the 1970s and am not suggesting that a return to letting the children control their own learning to such an extent is right - as this was "do you maths and english when you want out of a workbook" type of philosophy. However, I do think there is a happy middle ground. At my primary, for each topic, a framework was always provided - eg "a different country" or "people who help us". Sometimes we worked in pairs, sometimes we worked alone - sometimes it was a class-based topic based on a visit. A suggested format was given for a project which set minimum expectations. What it did create was a group of very independent learners who knew how to use books, knew that you could write to places and ask for information and knew a quite a young age how to extract information from texts. I don't see that kind of energy or enthusiam for learning in primary schools any more - apart from in Early Years.
  12. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    We work in a similar way to this....but it is guided. We will give them a challenge that has certain criteria they HAVE to include, often they have to finish with a presentation to the rest of the class/another class/headteacher showing all they have done and everything they have learned. We will often leave it up to them how they want to present it too (although letting them do that as a play is often best avoided, ha! The **** that allows them to get away with...).
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Isn't that what used to be known as a project? I remember being invited to do projects independently and starting out with great intentions [ballet; ponies; the usual] but losing interest rapidly. That was long before the days of the internet.
    Some children completed beautiful projects but such work was not part of the day-to-day curriculum.
  14. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Great, so they can all be independent learners and accumulate banks of facts in order to make their own presentations, either alone or in a group, at the end of the project. What, then does the teacher actually do all morning?

    I suppose I could be ordering shopping online, or placing bets for the Grand National. or planning next term's 'projects'?

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