Empowerment, to “enable or permit.”
How are we “enabling or permitting” our students to be secured in their learning with autonomy?
I have often wrestled with this question; to find the distinct balance between providing opportunities to “own” learning, as well as those which are needed to be more directive for students (because yes, as a teacher, sometimes I have to make a tough call in which a student must do what they don’t think they need, but they do need.)
One means by which to encourage my students to have ownership in their learning lies within the concept of data as “empowerment.” I was inspired by the recent NY Times article, Some Schools Embrace Demands for Education Data, in which it promotes a quality discussion on the positives/negatives of data empowerment. I may not agree with all the points provided, but I believe it provides a good viewpoint that data CAN serve as a leverage for a learning culture shift.
For instance, within the article, it goes on to state, “if you only look at the numbers, and you don’t probe and look at the learning environment, the culture of the school or the relationships between teachers and students, you’re going to miss out on a lot.”
Such is true.
As I approach a review period with my students, I am serving to empower them via data, breaking learning targets down to concepts misunderstood vs. mastered for each student. From there, I can individualize instruction and provide any child with the resources and time to master concepts personal to them.
It is THEN that learning truly becomes empowerment as it transforms into personalized, and individualized instruction.
What are you doing to take part in the notion that data CAN be a leverage for empowerment?