Kids may become school ‘partners’

START: Leaders Suzanne Henden, left, and Sally Learey, third from left, with Emily Wilsdon, Caitlin Polmear, Indra Benson, Dave Phillips and Maciej Jankowski.Children are not inan assembly line in the classroom –they will be the education “partners” of the future.

So says the latest strategy on learning that was unveiled to 150 teachers at Virtus Soccer Club on Monday.

Presenters from Melbourne and Sydney outlined a professional learning program that will run for three years.

It is the brainchild of John Hattie, possibly the most eminent educational researcher of the decade, and is being embraced by 200,000 educators world-wide.

John Pirie Secondary School principal Roger Nottage said his campus staff and those from pre-schools and schools in Port Pirie were taking part in theinternationally-renowned program.

“It is in its first year in South Australiaand ourschools are among the leaders in the state to pick it up,” he said.

“Rather than students sitting there falling asleep at their desks, they are going to be encouraged to be actively involved in their learning when they are seeking the next steps in their education.

“The students will be partners in their education.

“Rather than teaching and learning being something that is ‘done’ to them, that will be very much a shared responsibility and endeavour.Learning will be tailored to individual needs.

“It will build cultures where it is not just teachers and parents having highexpectations, but students havinghigh expectations.”

He said leadership groups from the 11 pre-schools and schools involved would meet on March 22 to determine the next steps.“We have a strong focus on improving the quality of teaching,” he said.“It will be personalised for each school.”

He said the students, as a result of the program, would know the benchmarksfor success and the key elements wouldbecome“small steps of learning”.

Risdon Park Primary School teacher Emily Wilsdon, who graduated in October last year, said the session had shared with her the “bigger picture” of students’ learning and progress.

“I think it is definitelya new way to go,” she said.

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