In addition to sharing our story with the participants of the workshop,… This process may take significant time. This continues today because teachers are the ones held accountable and responsible for the learning instead of the learners. Developing an English language learner's sense of agency can feel like a challenge when so many variables are at stake. Student 6: I love the choice of the MLE because we’re always engaged and motivated in what we want to learn. To put it simply, this is the power of a learning network. Learning will be a constant and high-priority activity throughout their lives and they will need the skills and tools to manage this process. Each design challenge includes a four-step process with “five levels of input” so everyone’s voices are captured and included in the design. What actually makes each project idea actually an example of project-based learning depends on how the project is mapped out and planned, what learning is assessed and how, the degree of agency and voice the student is allowed, the period of time over which the ‘project’ is ‘completed,’ and so on. The team shares their profiles with their peers to gain an understanding of each member’s needs, leadership skills, and strengths, so we can capitalize on these during the design and implementation process of our new strategies. They will survey the land, create the architectural design, and do most of the construction. If you would like to work a digital learning agency that is committed to quality and exceptional customer experience please get in touch. Adults also complete learner profiles through which they determine who they are and who they want to become. The STEM community will research grasses, plantings, and the chemical maintenance required to enhance the ball field. In his explanation, you’ll be introduced to the word “pursuit”—what our youth learners call the process of identifying a problem and seeking a solution. There is a significant and growing demand for learners to be able to do more than receiving instruction, follow a learning path designed by educators and complete problems and assignments presented to them by an adult. We must expand on the knowledge that we have gained about ourselves during Norris’s self-reflection orientations. Taking time to reflect and iterate through this process helps ensure our work does not become a fad and trail off when the next promising practice is developed. Overview At University Park Campus School (UPCS), group work is an integral part of the culture. This is an important sense for learners to develop. For example, in the ball field renovation, we have historians from the creative and communicative arts community that will document the entire process and publish a short documentary. Sign up to receive the latest stories that showcase why learner-centered education is built for this moment. The proof is the real-world evidence of learning and application. Like the youth learners, the adults participate in ongoing reflection and pathway adjustment to become the learning professionals they aspire to be. A project like this one requires a lot of varied interests, talents, and learning opportunities. The Student Learning Objectives process aims to capture this best practice as a means to allow teachers and teacher appraisers to determine and reflect on a teacher’s pedagogical strengths and areas for growth. Student agency builds the critical thinking and problem solving skills students need to thrive. Learner agency will develop when learners are involved in the whole learning process - including decisions about the curriculum itself, involving learners a lot more in the choices about the what as well as the how and the why of what is being learned. Can we dig a little deeper? This statement sums up how every member of Norris Academy—from youth to adult—approaches their learning. At Norris Academy, Paula is responsible for utilizing design theory to research, prototype, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to learning for continuous development. The Student Learning Contract serves as the basis for assessing field performance. This post is an update with new content of a post about learner agency being the missing piece on the collaborative blog series with the Institute of Personalized Learning. Develop learning strategies and skills to support meeting the action steps. To give you an idea, here are some inspiring examples of learning goals: Learning Goals for Students As a student, learning goes beyond building your knowledge in world history, the laws of gravity, and the sonnets of Shakespeare, as it also centers on your personal values. Whether they are considering how well they used their math strategies to solve a problem or reviewing how well they used the writing process in an essay, students begin to own their habits when they have to … The process for learning and the role learners play must be different than most adults experienced. Teachers Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski outline helpful strategies for helping students feel they have more control. Defining Learner Agency. The plan includes the goals that they want to accomplish; The pathway is the unique way in which each learner will attain their goals, based on their preferred learning methods; and. This jumpstarts the process of becoming a learner and developing agency in their learning. As children advance through the system, they develop a form of “learned helplessness” that keeps them from advocating for themselves. Learner agency is when learners have the power to act and make choices. The diagnostics enlighten learners about a variety of things including: This newly acquired information then guides the development of each learner’s plan, pathway, and proof: At Norris Academy, we do not have teachers in the traditional sense. My students and I were recently asked to Skype into a PYP workshop to share examples of how student agency works in our classroom. Developing agentic learners is more than offering a list of choices and seeking student voice. We have a sense of ‘agency’ when we feel in control of things that happen around us; when we feel that we can influence events. 56.). 28-32; 2009a, p. 9), and affording it a more prominent elaboration of learner control in the social cognitive theory framework (Bandura, 2005, pp. In addition to the learning specialist, we also have an employability specialist, citizenship specialist, wellness specialist, global resource specialist, and community coaches. During a weekend course, they heard leaders from another school talk about their collaborative teaching and learner agency practices. Agency is a hot topic in the education community right now. As children advance through the system, they develop a form of “learned helplessness” that keeps them from advocating for themselves. So this Summer during the ATI Conference (Assessment Training Institute) I heard the term student agency, which gives us an even better idea of how students can be at the centre of learning. The learner profile is created through a series of diagnostics within four modules. This shift is not because young people are learning less than previous generations. This post includes an interview with Alix Horton, a School Development and Literacy Coach for the New Tech Network , as well as a few thoughts from Randy Ziegenfuss, a Pennsylvania superintendent. Now that I am at Norris Academy, I am no longer a student. Learning goals are knowledge and abilities that participants gain from training or education.These are designed to show the value of a learning program, session or exercise. We have a sense of ‘agency’ when we feel in control of things that happen around us; when we feel that we can influence events. Each team member then sets personal goals that align with the vision of Norris Academy and enhance the work as a whole. Strategy #2: Give students opportunities to self-assess on their learning. So much so that Norris Academy has made the decision to include this work in its weekly schedule rather than as an add-on to a traditional schedule. Agency is developed when learners—youth and adults—become empowered to think and act independently. They must develop the capacity to engage strategically in their learning without waiting to be directed. In fact, there is good evidence that they know much more. While working on these projects, we focus on developing social skills in contextualized, real-world experiences and building strategies to design, engage, and persevere in open-walled learning experiences that are personalized and contextualized to our interests. You may be wondering what is unique about these projects. As students in other schools, our learners had one teacher for each subject, but at Norris Academy, we have a learning network that helps learners make connections in their learning within the four dimensions: Academics, Employability, Citizenship, and Wellness. In other words, they want to empower students. Learner agency at Norris Academy develops leaders at all levels. Student voice is another aspect of agentic behaviour. Learners must understand: They must develop the capacity to engage strategically in their learning without waiting to be directed. Their strengths and needs in core subjects, Their preferred study methods and learning environments, Ways they can get involved in their local and global communities, Strategies for increasing their zone of engagement. When I work with teachers, I am quick to point out that student agency does not mean students make all of the decisions, but it does mean they get to make some of them. Learner agency leads to increased feelings of competence, self-control, and self-determinism; and higher emotional intelligence. Harvard professor Roland Barth has observed that in the 1950’s when young people left high school they typically knew about 75% of what they would need to know to be successful in life. My focal point project will be displayed in our outdoor learning space. In preparation, we brainstormed everything this year that contributed to students experiencing a sense of ownership over their own learning. Student Learning Objectives are: Learner Agency in 7 different ways At the end of October 2018, the IB's Primary Year's Programme released the much-anticipated new digital resource, "PYP: From principles into practice" (available on My IB's Programme Resource Centre). What does education look like in a post-COVID world? This is where all stakeholders will start to see a visible change in practice. Their profile includes reflections about preferred learning modes, leadership skills, personal strengths and struggles, hobbies and interests, and preferences in communication, workspace, and motivation. There is a significant and growing demand for learners to be able to do more than receiving instruction, follow a learning path designed by educators and complete problems and assignments presented to them by an adult. Paula, Director of Development at Norris Academy, has led school teams through the implementation of personalized learning as an Instructional Coach and Personalized Learning Coordinator. As educators, we must nurture, coach and build in learners more capacity to initiate, manage, and maintain their own learning. Clubs at Norris Academy are created to support a specific purpose aligned to the learners’ current goals and pathways. Learner agency is embedded in The New Zealand Curriculum key competencies as “the capabilities that young people need for growing, working, and participating in their communities...The school curriculum should challenge students to use and develop the competencies across the range of learning areas and in increasingly complex and unfamiliar situations” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 38). The actions we take to “problem solve through challenges” are our “promising practices.” Promising practices become the framework that ensures Norris Academy’s vision come to life. For youth, the first 30 days at Norris Academy begin with an orientation that includes a four-dimensional self-reflection. Identify their passion and purpose for learning. The heavy lifting for this project will rest with the Skilled Trades community. Through group work, they learn that there's a diversity of valid perspectives, build comfort around using their own voices, and understand … FOUR EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS SUCCESSFULLY PROVIDING SERVICES TO LATINO FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES AVANCE Family Support & Education Program San Antonio, Texas The AVANCE Family Support and Education Program is an early intervention and pre-vention program that focuses on holistic and comprehensive services to strengthen the family unit. And, they must possess the skills to learn independently, without heavy dependence on external structures and direction. Conducting a student questionnaire will allow us to study the social environment of a school. The above examples highlight only a small fraction of the great work being done across the country to build student agency. 16-22, 26-28; 2008b, pp. Through the design process, everyone at Norris Academy is encouraged to take risks and push the limits of what we believe we can do to change lives through the power of learning. In this step, the goal is to communicate the promising practice widely and include more people in the design conversation to refine and further develop the WHAT—how the vision will become a reality. Yes, the Learning Agency provides editing services. Today, he predicts that young people know about 2% of what they will need to know. She is the co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning. Norris Academy’s focus on learner agency invites an entirely new way of designing learning and the structures that support it. At this point, you might be wondering how all of this is possible. They must take ownership of and responsibility for their learning. Join leaders from across the nation in transforming education for all. Barbara Bray is a Creative Learning Strategist and owner/founder of Computer Strategies, LLC with its divisions My eCoach ( and Rethinking Learning where she shares her resources, stories, and more about learning and life. These issues can greatly affect a student’s performance in class. Too often adults treat children as though they are incapable of making decisions or holding valid opinions. The leader as a learner. The following are illustrative examples. Benefits of Student Questionnaires. Even though the term “student agency” is the new buzz word regarding our learners in the PYP, it really isn’t altogether new. Self-direct and monitor progress in learning. I have attended school, gone to classes, studied content, taken tests to prove what I have learned, and moved on to the next level. Learner agency can be remembered as "voice, choice and ownership" which Bandura says "enable[s] people to play a part in their self-development, adaption, and self-renewal with changing times" (in Learner Agency, IB 2018). Over the past three years we explored LEARNER AGENCY in an effort to develop an understanding of: what agency looks like in action what it does to a child what teacher dispositions nurture it what curriculum structures honor it, and what […] Currently, the pursuit that I am designing requires me to utilize my research skills and math skills to create a decorative attraction that will become a focal point of Norris Academy. Given the rate of change in the world, helping young people take charge of their own learning is more important than ever. A project like the one described starts with connections to the global community. However, the value derived from it is too powerful to ignore. For the learning team, learning means developing team and personal practices that will support the needs of every youth through the use of learner profiles; personal plans and pathways; multidimensional competency frameworks and evidence-based progressions; open-walled extended learning experiences; an interdependent learning network; and a transformation practice for policy and procedures. We want to share our approach with other learner-centered leaders with the hope that our practice will inspire new and fresh ideas that you can weave into your own. Select appropriate tools and resources for each task and is “Future Ready.”, “Develop curiosity to learn about the world with the world.” @julielindsay. Barbara is the host of the Rethinking Learning Podcast where she has conversations on learning and reflections with inspirational educators, thought leaders, and influencers! All of these people work together to support the unique needs of each learner and align resources to meet individual goals. Please email I want to learn more from The Learning Agency. Agency is expressed when learners become the lead designers of their learning paths and take ownership in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to cultivate to drive their personal or community vision forward. Learning goals are typically expressed with action verbs that illustrate what participants will be able to do or demonstrate upon completion of learning. Issues of bullying, underage drinking, drugs, and the like might not seem apparent in the school hallways but it’s very much possible. I will be welding a large N that we will fill with decorative rocks painted by other learners at Norris. Embedding learner agency in school systems, curriculum. Personal learning begins with a learning specialist who helps learners use their profile to co-design a unique plan and pathway that capitalizes on passions and addresses personal needs. Learners need to develop the capacity to shape and manage their learning without over-reliance on the direction and control of others. “I am a learner. There are two formal evaluations during the semester. This step starts with a very small group that identifies the WHY—in order to outline the objectives—and the HOW—to create the deliverables and success criteria. The leaders of the middle and senior syndicates were participants in the National Aspiring Principals’ Programme. It’s quite fun as well. […], Your email address will not be published. There is, obviously, a lot to consider. The opposite of a learner with agency is a passive learner. Educators at all levels are asking how they can give -- or help students develop -- ownership of their learning, allowing them choice and flexibility in terms of learning environment, subject matter, pace, and more. […] There is a significant and growing demand for learners to be able to do more than receiving instruction, follow a learning path designed by educators and complete problems and assignments presented to them by an adult. From there, learners engage in activities on our campus, in our local community, and in virtual spaces that meet their learning needs. The current educational system was designed for teachers to control and manage the learning. This is a tokenistic or watered down version of authentic agency. Learners need to develop the capacity to shape and manage their learning without over-reliance on the direction and control of others. Here’s how one learner described the way learning happens at Norris Academy. Johnna Noll, Executive Director at Norris Academy, is an innovative thinker leading the transformation of the Norris School District to a student centric model of anytime, anywhere learning that is based on a multidimensional assessment that informs a robust learner profile. I am a learner.”. To gain an understanding of what is needed on their journeys to develop their whole selves, learners participate in mini-explorations, which include creating their learner profile and presenting who they are to their learning network—an interconnected panel of adults and peers that provides wrap-around support. Student 7: The modern learning environment and student agency is revolutionary, Take me for example, I used to really hate working and coming to school was the downside of my day. Learners must understand the career and learning opportunities aligned to the pursuit they are designing. Learners are also considering starting a few clubs to enhance this pursuit, including a photography club that will take time-lapse photos of the project, an art club to design the field logo, and an intramural sports team that will play other organizations within our surrounding community. They must take ownership of and responsibility for their learning. Agency is when learning involves the activity and the initiative of the learner, more than whatever is passed on from the teacher, curriculum or resources. Well, they are designed around our passions, future career opportunities, and academic needs. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a brand new change but rather a shift towards a greater emphasis of providing more deliberate autonomy for our students, thus developing leadership. Becoming a learner at Norris Academy starts from the first moment you walk in the door. Pursuits of this magnitude demand trust-building, teamwork, design-thinking, and most importantly, the collective embodiment of being a learner. The business and human service community will calculate our financials and be our project managers. (1997, March 5). Engaging all five levels of input builds agency across all levels of the organization. The learners are going to do extended learning opportunities at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball team, and a local golf course to better understand field design and slope, as well as the chemical supplements and maintenance requirements needed to preserve the field long after the initial pursuit is completed. While it is innate for us to have agency, our current mental models of school systems often limit agentic practices. For youth at Norris Academy, learning means they focus on developing themselves in the four dimensions of Academics, Employability, Citizenship, and Wellness. In "Learning Transformed," Eric Sheninger and Tom Murray tell us, “Student agency must become the norm, not the exception.” And, I couldn’t agree with them more. (Barth, R.S. Barbara recently launched her new book, Define Your WHY, that is all about owning your story so you live and learn on purpose. Educators can design pathways of learning that promote students’ awareness of their current strengths and weaknesses relative to … This article shares one school’s continuing journey to unpack, define and support learner agency. I also share that in my experience the more I release control of the learning to the actual learners, the more rewarding the learning is for everyone. Developing student agency. I have been a student for several years of my life. Becoming a learner at Norris Academy starts from the first moment you walk in the door. Set goals and action steps for college, career, and life. The adult learning team participates in weekly design sessions with the Executive Director and the Director of Development. In the final step, the primary goal of the learning team is to shift from the initial promising practice to an enduring practice that will become the fiber of who we are and what we do. Through the lenses of Academics, Employability, Citizenship, and Wellness, learners are encouraged to explore what makes them unique. Subsequently the leadership team (and later, other staff) visited the school and saw some of the practices in action. This is where we take advantage of our five levels of input strategy; these include: Directors, Specialists, Coaches, Learners, and Extended Community Members. All of the specialists and coaches are learning right alongside our youth. In these design sessions, the team identifies the most significant challenges and barriers to reaching the vision of learning at Norris Academy. The school practices group work across all grades and subjects, and students see collaborative problem-solving modeled by their teachers and administration. The learning process for youth and the design process for adults empower all our learners to think and act independently—achieving their goals by actively getting involved, making decisions that impact their own experiences, and initiating autonomous learning. In Education Reimagined’s lexicon, Learner Agency is the ... For example, one can help students become more adept at setting goals. For the ball field renovation pursuit, learners are planning to meet with Extended Learner Opportunity Practitioners (ELOPs)—a financial planner, historian, surveyor, and greenskeeper—who belong to the overall learning network. Required fields are marked *, Contact ME I look forward to hearing from you, Define Your WHY Book Giveaway and Mini-Contest Winners, post about learner agency being the missing piece on the collaborative blog series, Episode #107: Engaging Learners in the Online Environment with Dr. Cynthia Sistek-Chandler, Empathy for YOU in Uncertain Times (Reflection #9), Episode #106: Inspiring the Next Generation Leaders, Thinkers, and Problem Solvers with Derek Wenmoth, 10 Steps to Encourage Student Voice and Choice, Kevin McLaughlin shares PJs: Personal Journeys, Top 10 Rethinking Learning Posts in 2017 | Rethinking Learning, Student Agency – Resources – Kaiako Kate Paris, Teacher Autonomy and Coaching - Steve Barkley, Episode #109: Play and Joy through Embodied Learning with Tommaso Lana, Reflection #10 on Humanized Pandemic Teaching with Chris McNutt, Episode #108: Aspire to Lead with Empathy, Creativity, and Passion with Joshua Stamper, Website Design by Sara Zimmerman Art, Illustration and Design, when they need new learning and how to learn what they need, when they need to unlearn what will no longer serve them, when they need to relearn what they need to be successful. Below is a definition from 10 Tips for Developing Student Agency. The team at Norris continuously iterates during this step as different team members join the conversation to build and challenge the current design thinking.
2020 learner agency examples