Reflect on this… by @Mroberts90Matt

Recently my guest blog on @TeacherToolkit’s blog concerning self-assessment was publicised and it generated some interest again, which was pleasing to see. In the past it has also generated comments on other professional views on self assessment and how it can be made more effective.

However, this time I received a comment from @slrbass who said that in education we simply do not have time to give children the time to practise being reflective. I can’t help but feel a lot of truth in this, especially as a Year 6 teacher.
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There is so much content to cover in the Curriculum that thinking skills such as reflective thinking are pushed to the side. Despite this, should it not be a goal of an educator to actively encourage their students to think about their learning – take action in their learning rather than having it acted upon them with no thought? I can’t help but wonder if a child who is trained to reflectively consider their learning is put with a child who doesn’t think about their learning if there would be a difference between to two.

The only issue with this is that, unless we can clone a child and keep them in the same room, ant research into whether reflective thinking improves learning is always going to be skewed – so many factors in a child’s life affect learning making it difficult to say what affects learning categorically.

photo credit: srsphoto via photopin cc

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5 thoughts on “Reflect on this… by @Mroberts90Matt

    1. I appreciate your view. Could you elaborate a little more on it?
      I’m still trying to decide what i think about children reflecting on their learning, i can’t help but feel it might benefit some children but for the majority it would not be a worthwhile endeavour to take time out of curriculum time to do that.
      For example, schemes like Brain Gym or Learning Journeys i feel are a waste of time but just a minute question at the end of a lesson to ask how confident the children feel with applying the knowledge they’ve accrued might be worthwhile for a teacher’s plans.

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      1. People are very bad at assessing how good they are at things. The less capable they are, the more they overestimate. Poorly structured, subjective self-assessment is not terribly useful. Best to concentrate on the learning.

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      2. That’s fair. Since the start of this term I’ve actually used self assessment techniques a lot less than when on my placement. Started using some a couple of weeks ago and found it has helped assist when planning later interventions but i would never base later learning on it, only inform and validate my teacher assessment.

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  1. Good post. The eternal tension between the need to cover content and impart critical skills goes on … There must be room for reflection. Not easy to make time, but otherwise the content is also being lost.

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