Learning Our Learning Skills
Last week reports were published to MySchool for parents and students to see. A difference, this year, for the document is the appearance of learning skills. These were introduced last year in our Grade 8 program and now form the basis of assessment for how a student approaches learning. The four learning skills of Manages time, assignments and materials; Focuses during classroom activities; Takes responsibility for progress; and Contributes positively to the learning environment, reflect key skills needed to be successful.
Our Assistant Prefects - Academics, Julia S and Crawford C, took some time to ask students how they felt about the use of learning skills. The majority of students feel it is a better way to get feedback from teachers, especially on areas that need improvement. There is more detail and if a student doesn’t do very well in one of the skills, they may still have a positive assessment in the others so it is a more holistic way of looking at learning. For those who do not like this approach, there were several reasons given. 1) A low number has more of an impact than a word such as occasionally, and a word seems less accurate. 2) It is better to talk to your teachers for feedback than rely on the learning skills assessment.
Because it is new, some find it confusing. One student feels that the focus is on marks so it doesn’t matter how we look at effort or learning skills.
As we look at changes in education and the workforce, we see that there is an increased focus on how students learn, interact with others, and communicate their understanding. We also recognize that the four learning skills are directly related to the workforce and this idea of needing to be able to be reliable, network, and build relationships with others, and complete work that is required for the job. Feedback on the inclusion of learning skills in the report card is always welcome.