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Independent learning and differentiation

Independent Learning can be both motivating and challenging, especially when differentiation ensures it is accessible to all students.
by

Neil Hutchins

on 16 February 2011

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Transcript of Independent learning and differentiation

Independent Learning can be both motivating and challenging, especially when differentiation ensures it is accessible to all students. Learning outcomes:

Consider what independent learning is and how to differentiate within it
Be presented with a range of practical approaches to re-invigorate learning in any subject area
Look at how facilitating choice can be important in increasing motivation and attainment
Consider the benefits of project-based and investigative learning "Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results." Benjamin Franklin Changing the culture of learning – Paul Ginnis 1. Everyone needs to work things out for themselves Learning occurs through the brain making its own meaning, making its own sense of things.

Encourage students to find things out, and work things out, for themselves – young people have an innate curiosity, we need to capitalise on this.
Encourage students to articulate “draft ideas” – peer teaching, draft writing, presentation, AfL
There’s little point in giving students “ready-made meaning” – ditch the printed notes and do an ‘info shopping’ instead.
Come at the same key concepts from different angles and in different ways – multisensory learning
2.Experiences that are multi-sensory, dramatic, unusual or emotionally strong are remembered for longer and in more detail than ordinary, routine experiences According to Ekwall and Shanker people generally recall: •10% of what they read 20% of what they hear 30% of what they see 50% of what they both see and hear 70% of what they say 90% of what the simultaneously say and do 3. Everyone needs to feel emotionally secure and psychologically safe 4.Learners are more motivated, engaged and open when they have some control over their learning. Encourage deeply internalised personal goals (most students want to do well in school and life) – they create a clarified personal purpose, resulting in self-motivation, self-sufficiency and perseverance. Project Based Learning is a process that puts the student at the centre of their learning. "as a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups." We can define Project Based Learning as:

A systematic teaching method that engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks. 1. Project Based Learning is synonymous with learning in depth. A well-designed project provokes students to encounter (and struggle with) the central concepts and principles of a discipline. 2. Project Based Learning teaches students 21st century skills as well as content. These skills include communication and presentation skills, organization and time management skills, research and inquiry skills, self-assessment and reflection skills, and group participation and leadership skills. 3. Project Based Learning is generally done by groups of students working together toward a common goal. Performance is assessed on an individual basis, and takes into account the quality of the product produced, the depth of content understanding demonstrated, and the contributions made to the ongoing process of project realization. 4. Finally, Project Based Learning allows students to reflect upon their own ideas and opinions, exercise voice and choice, and make decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process in general. During this workshop you will: "How do I personalise leaning for thirty students, with a variety of learning styles with the pressures of the curriculum content to be ‘got through,’ while having meaningful conversations with students on ‘how’ we are learning?" How do I embed personalised learning and enhance my present classroom practices with a modest output of time and energy, keeping to the enthusiasm of pupils, yet free from the pressures that my risk-taking efforts will not be viewed as arbitrary or of relative value? How will a greater focus on the learning process move away from a spoon-feeding culture and maintain a successful record of GCSE results? "How will a greater focus on the learning process move away from a spoon-feeding culture and maintain a successful record of GCSE results?" You will be considering the following approaches to learning style models:

Sensory preferences – defining different degrees of dependence on particular senses - VAK
Informational processing – defining different ways of perceiving and processing new material - Gregorc, Kolb, Honey & Mumford etc
Intelligence – defining different socially recognised talents You will be considering the following approaches to learning style models:Sensory preferences – defining different degrees of dependence on particular senses - VAKInformational processing – defining different ways of perceiving and processing new material - Gregorc, Kolb, Honey & Mumford etcIntelligence – defining different socially recognised talents Choose your way of learning this information:

Join an orally presented workshop given by Mr Hutchins
Read the information pack and make notes
Research the theories using the laptops
Work in small groups on a card-sort activity to organise the theories visual dominance
auditory dominance
kinaesthetic dominance Concrete sequential – learns best through structured practical activities. Relish step-by step instructions, checklists, routine, neatness and tidiness, like to get to a ‘correct’ answer
Abstract sequential – learns best through structured academic research and rational argument, often alone, being guided to see connections to compare and contrast to see the ‘big picture’
Abstract random – leans best through being creative, open-ended and group-based, being given the space to explore ideas through talking, being imaginative and experimental
Concrete random – learns best through open-ended practical work that involves challenge or investigation, following their intuition and trial and error. Seven distinct types of intelligence (or ‘frames of mind’):

Linguistic – words, names etc
Logical / mathematical – patterns, logical puzzles
Spatial – images and pictures
Musical – rhythm and music
Bodily / kinaesthetic – bodily sensations and physical activity
Interpersonal – interacting and cooperating
Intrapersonal – working alone and being independently reflective the MENU method UPWARDly mobile PROJECT based learning The basic principle of this method is to take independent learning to a new dimension by offering students a choice of learning strategy. It allows for a more tailor-made delivery of learning style differences.
Learning objectives are best expressed as be able to statements. By offering measurable success criteria, achievement is made real.
Provide a basic introduction to the topic, giving minimal information needed to orientate students or to define key terms.
Manage students’ choice carefully – some will make the wrong decision due to peer pressure. The intention is to create a structure that invites students to aim high.

Rather than defining the minimum as something students will do, by telling students what the maximum is, students will aim high.
For each of the three tasks or levels, students are offered:
1. a learning activity – varying in style across the three learning levels 2. a proof activity – a way of showing that the learning has been acquired 3. a loop activity – to have a go at the same learning in a different style if it wasn’t grasped the first time 4. a second proof activity – in a different learning style to the first Lesson planning exercise 2CPD task:Work in a pair with another teacher from a different facultyLearning objective: you decide – brainstorm ideas for projects that you will each be teaching in the remainder of this year, applying the technique(s) you think fit best. Plenary activity A vision of students today Let’s be clear…. This is not what we mean. Don’t think that you need to entertain your students. Speed dating 1. Sit opposite another teacher and explain the benefits of independent learning projects to your first ‘date’. 2. Move to the next person along, where they will feedback to you what they have just been told 3. Move along 2 people and tell them the benefits 4. Move along 3 more people, where they will feedback to you what they have just been told Project Based Learning teaches students 21st century skills as well as content. These skills include:
communication and presentation skills,
organisation and time management skills,
research and inquiry skills,
self-assessment and reflection skills,
group participation and leadership skills. Practical implications:

Recognise that your own preferred learning style can get in the way of effective learning
Understand learner’s preferred styles, but don’t pigeonhole
Accommodate different styles, but don’t try to be too precise
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