Saturday, October 25, 2014

Learners need Affirmation

Students need to know that we greatly appreciate the work that they do. They need to know that we appreciate their individuality and creativity. Author, Phil Schlechty, talks about nine Design Qualities that help learners be authentically engaged in their work.

The picture to the left is an example of one of these design qualities, affirmation of performance, which refers to the possibility of designing tasks and activities so that the performance of students is made visible to persons who are significant in their lives. In addition, designing the work in ways that make it clear that the quality of the performance of the student has meaning and value to peers and others whose opinions the student values and cares about.

This student's teacher brought him to me so that he could show to me and explain his project about the water cycle. The student was grinning from ear to ear and explained the content of his project very well. These impromptu performances are just a s important as the more formal performances. Students need a purpose greater than getting a grade, passing a grade, or even getting a medal at the student recognition day. They need affirmation that what they are doing is important.
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