One of the highlights of last week’s APCAS conference in Singapore was the student forum. We sat wrapped as seven students from the Australian International School spoke about life on their side of the chalk-face.
These students from Year 6 to 11 were articulate, witty, wise and engaging.
Here is a snapshot of a few of the things they said and explored…
About self-directed learning a Student said: ‘we had relationship with the teacher so it was easy to ask them when we needed it’.
When asked, ‘what if there were no grades at your school?, the kids were initially stumped. They admitted they were motivated by grades but then considered what else might motivate them. It was interesting to see how engrained the educational process was for these adolescents.
There was a mixed bag between the desire for written and verbal feedback. But all said that the feedback from their teacher was what they sought most and that it needed to be authentic and linked to how they, the student, could improve.
Regarding attention and interest in class: ‘We listen for a while but then lose ingested when we are not able to take control.’
On time tabling: A 5 minute break between each 50min lesson. The Kids thought 50 was optimum.
When speaking about the reason and motivation for doing assessment: ‘If it was an essay, you’d give it to your teacher and it wouldn’t matter any more. Having a real audience makes a difference’.
While I could unpack these comments on he his post, I actually think that would be pointless. What is most important is for you, and me, to take their statements and consider what should be our take-away message in relation to our classrooms, our teaching practices and our students’ learning.
As always, I’d love to get your feedback and opinions.