Monday, January 10, 2005
A teaching framework for your school.
Peak Learning Website Logo
I know of at least one school in Palmerston North that has been using the ideas outlined in the article ‘Relationship Driven Teaching’ written by Spence Rogers and Lisa Renard. The full article is available from their site ‘Peak Learning’
The ideas align well with our own beliefs found on our site .It is a co-incidence but we almost have the same logo!
Rogers and Renard believe that by focusing on the fundamental emotional needs of learners teachers can enhance students motivation. If ‘needs are met we want to perform to the best of our ability.’ Students are motivated when they believe their teachers treat them like people and care about them personally and educationally.
To achieve motivated students teachers need to create meaningful learning contexts that enable students to value the activities enough to want to learn and to achieve. By applying relationships learning ideas, Rogers and Renard write, amazing things happen. Teachers treat students with respect; offer meaningful, significant choices, and create valuable, fun, or interesting learning opportunities and in turn students see teachers in new light.
Spence and Renards 'Relationship Driven Teaching Framework' is based on two principles and six standards.
The first principle is ‘seek first to understand’; meaning we must understand the needs and beliefs of students as they are, not what we think they should be.
The second is that we need to manage the learning context, not the students; the need is to establish the conditions to foster intrinsic motivation rather than seek to control or dominate students.
The six Framework Standards are;
1. Safe. For students to learn they must feel safe from the threats of either physical and emotional danger or embarrassment. This is essential if students are to take learning risks.
2. Valuable. Students must perceive that what they are doing has value. Learning must fill a need; solve a problem; or be interesting, fun, or enjoyable.
3. Successful. Students need evidence of success in achieving either mastery or significant progress towards mastery. Learning must be challenging for each student. Students need to be able to be given regular and meaningful evidence of progress.
4. Involving. Students become involved when they have a meaningful stake in what is going on. Students need to be involved in planning and making decisions about what they are learning and how it is to be assessed. This includes self assessment using rubrics they have helped create.
5. Caring. Everyone has a basic need for love and belonging; to be valued and cared about; to be part of a group and not to feel an outsider. Caring can be demonstrated by valuing student’s views, listening to their ideas and by having high expectations for all students.
6. Enabling. Teachers must seek out ‘best practices’ to ensure all students achieve their personal best. Such teachers are not afraid to try new sound ideas when what they have been doing in the past has not led to mastery by all students.
All these standards are interconnected and create an intricate and powerful ‘web’ to ensure all students learn. They cannot be applied in a linear fashion and all need to work simultaneously to balance the needs and intrinsic motivation of the students. If teachers recognize student's needs and build powerful classroom environments by tapping into student intrinsic motivation they provide the driving force for achieving excellence for all students.
Rogers and Renard provide a powerful framework for all schools to use to create learning environments to ensure all students retain their natural desire to learn.
For another teaching framework visit ‘Leading and Learning’.
For a range of practical articles, including beginning the school year, go to Peak Learning Systems Resource page.