Mix and Match

Students as architects of their own learning schedule

Photo of Gel Hannan
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What if ... 

  • ... schools allowed students to decide when and how they would complete the required number of hours for mandatory subjects? (In order for this to work, there might need to be within a school: an openness to vertical timetabling; a personalised student learning plan and lots of group work with collaborative learning activities, similar to what might be found at the School of One; and a clear foundation established very early on so that students would have the skills, maturity, initiative, foresight and creativity to manage their own learning). 
  • ... schools got rid of subjects and instead moved to teach ideas holistically (much like what Finland plans on doing), showing students that everything is interconnected?
  • ... students themselves were given the latitude to design Deep Learning Days with the only prerequisite being that it had to involve at least two subject areas (to encourage building connections between ideas in subjects)? 
  • ... students had more authority over the assessment tasks and schedule? They could design their own tasks; or assign how much weighting would go to each task at the start of the academic year.
  • ... what comprises a 'full teaching load' was redesigned? By reducing the number of classes that constitutes a full load, teachers would still be working full time but would have 'free' periods during which they could plan better lessons, collaborate with colleagues within the school, in academia and in industry; they could focus on giving more detailed and better quality feedback on students' work submitted - there are a million other ways they could use their time wisely to improve their pedagogy!
  • ... the end of every week was 'Freaky Friday' where students and teachers swap roles, in a sense? The students get to teach and the teachers get to learn. This role reversal would open so many doors, including allowing the teachers a chance to see what appeals to the students in their learning, giving the students a chance to see what it's like from a teacher's perspective, allowing students to dictate how they would like to learn content, etc.  


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Photo of Ben Hommerding

Great ideas here everyone. I had posted about FedEx days where you have to deliver something overnight or in the case of Ed during the course of a staff dev day. Basically, teachers and students would work together on teams to come up with solutions to issues they are passionate about by a specified time and then everyone presents their ideas and it's kind of like a celebration. If the ideas seem good, then they are carried forward from there.
It's kind of cool!

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