Kate thinks it is unacceptable that students are uninterested in learning and find school boring. Unfortunately, when Kate began the program 38% of students reported being bored at school, 79% of students aged between 13-15 reported that they don’t think about a lesson once it is over, and 26% of students think that what they are learning in school is irrelevant. Kate thinks that an improved attitude towards school and learning is necessary, and she believes in a school where students should strive to be the best they can and strive for excellent results.
The key to Kate’s initiative was to target students’ engagement by giving them a voice in their own learning.
Kate started by choosing a working group in year 6 and 7. She then decided a curriculum area to focus on and together with students they read the relevant Australian Curriculum, pulling it apart to discuss in detail. The group individually ideated and then worked collaboratively as a group to decide on the best learning ideas, eventually choosing just one idea. Collaborative students and the teacher designed a task around the curriculum and ideation choice, and this included designing how it would be assessed and the time frame in which it would be completed. Students completed the task, and then evaluated their experience.
Kate’s initiative has already positively impacted 26 students – two groups of year 7s, and one group of year 6s, all of whom have participated in two designed tasks.
“For me, I had to remove myself from the year 6 working groups as they were wanting me to have all the input. I did this several times for them to start coming up with their own ideas. One student asked me if this was for real and they would actually get to do the task. When I said yes, they responded “really?!” and laughed.”
Like the idea?
Kate would love your support for Voice and Choice, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Kate and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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