When I help students see and articulate what they do know, they may notice areas where they have trouble. For example, someone may say, “I make most of my mistakes when the denominators are different,” or “I get mixed up because I don’t know when to double the letter if I’m adding ‘ing.’”
When a student notices where he makes errors, that is a big step, a huge leap forward in learning. But it is quite different from me telling him where he needs help. When he analyzes his work and notices the patterns of errors he makes, it is a sign that he is fully engaged in the process, and has taken control of his learning.
When I analyze his work and point out the pattern of his errors to him, it is a sign that I am fully engaged in the process, but he may or may not be paying attention. (from Marking for Confidence)
Hi – I’ve been talking to a friend of mine (Mary from New Zealand) about this blog and and she made an interesting comment which she has agreed I can share.
She says, “It sounds as if Kate’s students are meeting a rare individual. I think out of all the teachers I experienced in school my first home-ec teacher stands out as she sent me a condolence card when my father died. In retrospect it was probably because she treated me as an individual with unique needs rather than just one of the bunch of kids in a classroom, and a textile lecturer at university who enquired why I had done so badly in one of the final exams. It doesn’t say much for my capacity to relate to the teaching going on, and I was one of the ‘successes’ of the education system!”
And a vastly different ‘dignity cost’ for the learner between identifying and being able to own her own mistakes, and having her mistakes pointed out to her…
Kate, I just want to thank you for all your insight. I am learning so much just from reading your posts–what I am doing right, where I need to improve and new things I can try. I am also grateful that you posted the link to Learning and Violence. I’ve launched into the program and am finding it has exactly the kind of information I need to be a more effective teacher at the adult detention center and to understand myself more. You are a true blessing.
http://www.Learningandviolence.net is a great site for teachers, learners and administrators and policy makers.