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Rikie van Blijswijk


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Geef leerlingen kans om op hun leren te reflecteren: drie suggesties

18 april 2016

Rikie van Blijswijk

Uur na uur luisteren naar een bombardement aan informatie op één dag: veel leerlingen willen af van die saaie school en zich juist betrokken voelen bij de lessen. En dat kan, zegt ook JoAnn Groh, oprichter van de Paolo Freire Freedom School, na observaties van leraren en leerlingen. Vragen stellen, een stem en een keuze en betrokkenheid bij evaluaties blijken sleutels om leerlingen uit te dagen en te bemoedigen. ‘I was really struck by how foreign the concept of reflection was to my kids, students who were bright, eager, at times brilliant, in my classroom.’

bored-16811__340In een onderzoek volgde een coach drie docenten en drie leerlingen twee aaneengesloten dagen. Daarin viel op dat school ontzettend vermoeiend bleek voor de leerlingen, omdat ze uren achtereen moesten zitten en daarvan de meeste tijd doorbrachten met luisteren naar hun docenten. Het hierover geschreven artikel is inmiddels viral gegaan.

‘Wow! Who knew that the answer to the question of what to do with our schools lies with our students’ experience of those schools? Last week Grant Wiggins posted a blog written by an Instructional Coach who followed two students for two days and then wrote about it. Most notably she became aware of how tiring school could be for students who are forced to sit for hours a day and who spend most of their time listening to their teachers talk. In education circles, the article has gone viral. Over 10 years ago, my Critical Friends Group (“CFG” – a type of professional learning community) did a similar activity so I thought I would share our observations and analysis.

We decided to have 3 teachers follow and observe 3 different students – a straight A student, an average student and one that was in danger of dropping out – on one day and then the following day we would use a protocol to discuss what they saw and experienced. We informed the classroom teachers ahead of time, but assured them that we would not mention their names in the discussion and that the focus of our talk would not be on any specific classroom practice, but on the students’ overall experience. At the end of the day, each of our students assured their shadow that the day was fairly typical – that no teacher constructed a lesson plan that was out of the ordinary to try to impress us.

A little context – our school was an average sized comprehensive suburban high school. At that time the school had flirted with several national reform models, but for the most part it was a traditional school with a strong reputation for excellence commensurate with schools in similar socio-economic communities.’

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