Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Students voice on learning and environments - you mean you actually ask them?

Communicating with an overseas journalist today, I was really extremely surprised to be asked "Can you spell out why there was a need to get student input?", as we changed arrangements and environments for their new schools.
Most young people today are very clear about how they learn and have a clear idea of the environments in which they would learn effectively. Some views may be extreme, others may not be practical, but it really should not be a surprise that the vast majority of students are very sensible and ambitious about their learning styles and the need for appropriate environments to support them. For the vast majority, the traditional 'cell' like rooms simply do not do the job! They are also far more innovative and forward thinking than many teachers would believe - hence the importance of asking them!
We really should be listening to students far more if we are to support them achieve the ambitious and usually realistic heights that many want. Why wouldn't we?


Elona Hartjes said...

I think we should not only ask kids about their preferred learning environment, but we should help kids identify it because kids learning in their preferred learning environment will do better. It's as simple as that. We need to stop trying to put square pegs into round holes and expect them to fit.

Gareth Long said...

I agree with you Elona.... helping students define their preferred learning environments, (because there will be more than one), is an important aspect of this!

Best wishes