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Students - independent learners?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    needabreak, silverfell85 and TEA2111 like this.
  2. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I have been very impressed by many of Mary Bousted's articles recently and this is no exception.

    Many students have now become reliant of teachers 'helping' them because they know that the teacher's job is on the line. They know in some cases that the teacher will do their work for them. This has to stop.

    In fact some students should be allowed to fail. Last year I taught a number of students who couldn't be bothered to work. I tried my best but at the end of the day they got what they deserved, a fail.

    Failing is in itself a learning process. The problem is that teachers are now under the immense pressure for their pupils to perform to expectations. However, if the students themselves can't be bothered then why should be teacher?
  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Education is about preparing children for the next stage of their lives (e.g. from leaving school to death)

    Children need 'managed failure', where they can learn to fail in safety (where parents and teachers are on hand to help them through) otherwise they will fail when there is no support, they're on their own, when they're in their 20s 30s 50s.
    I can think of a number of examples of (usually) brilliant people who never failed at anything until they were in their 30s often with devastating consequences (e.g. suicide)
  4. pennyh.

    pennyh. Occasional commenter

    Thank you for posting this, I enjoyed reading it and thought the article excellent and true- performance management pay has made it worse. I am resisting virtual learning platforms or whatever name other schools use because it seems I do all the work and the students very little.
    lizziescat and cissy3 like this.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good article. Some students are more ready to learn independently than others. Some need a lot of support - some via the traditional boot applied to the nether regions.
    Teachers work hard to support students' independent learning, and to motivate their students, but some students value the Governmental approved process so little that they actively resist all attempts to form a partnership in learning.
    petenewton likes this.
  6. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Those students should fail. The problem is that they feel that if they do less than the minimum someone will pick them up and give them help.
    cissy3 and monicabilongame like this.
  7. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    I struggled to read the article because of a difficulty getting past the huge photo of presumably the author. Still, if you can get over that hurdle, there is a lot of sense in it. In my Scumsville Academy, students are terrible independent learners. They have no idea even in the Sixth Form about their role in learning, expecting everything to be spoon-fed to them. I can't imagine what must go through the minds of lecturers teaching first year undergraduates when they get another cohort from my place writing essays and doing sums for them.

    I guess one of the main differences between Eton and Scumsville High is that at Eton, they foster independent, confident learners, willing to make mistakes and learn from them, whereas at my place, the teacher of any student where the data is showing a lack of progress will be hauled up, asked to explain themselves and then to put action plans into place, on pain of performance management targets being reviewed.
  8. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Mountains of evidence are being produced "just in case".

    This is precisely the sort of nonsense that children are normally expected to do as part of their "education". I bet she has never batted an eyelid about that!
  9. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I am presently engaged in putting together a progress marksheet that is supposed to show, class by class, the levels of progress made over the year by the students. This will be used to identify "and support" teachers whose classes are not progressing as astronomically as someone else's.
    I feel soiled.
    needabreak and cissy3 like this.
  10. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Is "independent learning" rapidly becoming a euphemism for "let 'em fail!"?
  11. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    We need to start teaching students to be independent learners in primary school. But because teachers are judged on what's in their children's books, we use our TAs to work with the lower achievers in small groups/1:1 to make sure that something of an okay quality is going into the books. The fact that this is not independently done and that the child would never have been able to do this on their own, is unimportant in the light of being judged. And then the child goes to secondary school and can barely write the date.
    cissy3 and Anonymity like this.
  12. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    yes, but so are the kids - and there lies the essence of the problem. Education has always been about appearances on paper, not attitudes or knowledge in the mind - way before teachers were similalrly pressurised. The whole ethos needs changing.
    Shedman likes this.
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    So you should!!!!
  14. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    This is in essence the problem - staff who want to look good increase the pupils grades in line with progress expected so when the next teacher takes them on and does not look so good - some people lie!
  15. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    Many hammers hitting nails directly on the head in this thread...but what's to be done? You go along with it because you must, or you make a stand...then what happens?
    cissy3 likes this.
  16. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Teaching students how to teach themselves is surely the most that any of us can aspire to do?

    Such a shame students are not responsible in the eyes of the educational establishment for their learning but their teachers are. We are judged on their short progress during a lesson! Not to surprising that the long term aspiration of students becoming really independent learners gets paid lip service.

    Mary Bousted's article shows an in depth understanding of the issues around students learning independently. Unfortunately if is not what the educational establishment want to hear. Agreeing with it would
    undermine their agenda. The media want sound bites, not something people have to think too hard about.

    Great article but only a few will notice it. Such a shame.
    Shedman, pemmachem and Compassman like this.
  17. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    In order to get 100% of the learners to make 100% progress 100% of the time as required, I have to 'sit' on them and make sure they do so. Letting them be independent it mean some make less progress - might mean they need to be willing to push themselves. Great for some... Not for others...

    What is best for the children/ students and what management want don't always match...
  18. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I remember the conversations.
    "Well Phlogiston, Donny the Dosser and Serena the Slacker didn't make much progress did they? I'm afraid that rather limits the grade for that lesson..."
  19. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Sadly that's the reality. But how many times did you feel like shouting back at them?!

    We're both out of it now but it still infruriates me that teachers have to bend over backwards to do the work for the kids.

    I remember in a BTEC subject seeing teachers telling kids to copy out of text books for assignments at the end of Year 11 to ensure the kid passed even though the kid had done s*d all in the past two years. I was in fact told to pass kids who were non attenders (I didn't by the way) or try to ring around their homes to get them into school to do the work. If, at age 16, they can't be bothered then why should the teachers?
    monicabilongame and cissy3 like this.
  20. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    .. and how many hours were taken up collecting students who didn't turn up for an exam. By 16 (or 18) they need to take the consequences of their actions.

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