How many times have you heard students excuse their lack of effort or poor performance by saying, “But I’m just not good at …“
Perhaps your students say, “I just don’t want to,” which is really just a cover story for, “If I tried, I think I’d probably fail, so I’m not going to try at all.”
Or perhaps your students constantly stay in their Comfort and Performance Zones, afraid of the mistakes that are likely to occur if they venture into their Learning Zone. If this is the case, they probably aren’t interested in reading the formative feedback you spent ages carefully crafting after their last assignment.
All of the above are symptoms of a Fixed Mindset: a student’s belief that they are unable to make much difference to their basic abilities. This means that if they aren’t good at, say, maths today, they believe they won’t be good at maths in the future.
If that were true, if they really...
Do you have students who get stuck in their learning?
I’m not talking about being stuck on a particular problem. I’m talking about students being stuck in their learning. These are the students who “try hard” but constantly struggle. They find it difficult to grow and reach new standards each year. They always get the same results, never quite achieving what they aim for.
Often, these are the students who slowly fall further and further behind.
These are also the students who take up more and more of a teacher’s time. At first, we need to scaffold their learning. Then we need to give them extra support and “hold their hand” as we guide their learning. Eventually, it may feel as though we’re dragging them through the entire learning process – spending more of our energy helping them achieve, often at the expense of time with other students. We’re left feeling exhausted in the process.
"In the context of the Learning...
I have a guilty secret. As a classroom teacher, there was a group of students I feel I let down, badly. It was never intentional. I wanted to help them; I just didn’t know how to help them. I couldn’t seem to get through to them in the way I wanted.
These students weren’t exactly wasting their time, but they weren’t spending their time effectively, either. They’d rarely slack off enough to warrant getting into trouble, but neither would they push themselves enough to excel. They’d be “on task”, but sometimes only barely.
These students would hand in work that was “satisfactory”. I’d give them formative feedback on how to improve, but they’d shrug their shoulders and say it was “good enough”.
From time to time, I’d challenge them to push themselves more. I’d write things in their reports like, “Johnny could do better,” or, “If Johnny applied himself more, his...
Do you have disengaged, passive learners in your classroom? Students who do the bare minimum or give up easily? Do you have days that leave you exhausted, feeling like you’re doing most of the hard work for your students, dragging them through the learning process?
The Learning Landscape will not only engage learners, but it will also give you your time and energy back as students begin to take charge of their learning!
Bring learning to life
The Learning Landscape brings learning to life in your classroom. It helps students understand their role as active, skilful participants in the learning process.
It gives you a language of movement and exploration that engages students in their learning.
More importantly, it is a way for students to visualise learning like never before.
Every lesson will be a new adventure. As students navigate their way through the Learning Landscape, they discover and explore new knowledge and insights. To gain more complex and difficult...