Enriching experience of schooling

For an enriching experience of schooling there are a few pointers about evidence-informed principles to guide policy and practice that should be kept in mind:

  • Equipping learners for life in its broadest sense: learning should help people to develop intellectual, personal and social resources that will enable them to participate as active citizen and workers and to flourish as individuals in a diverse and changing society. This implies a broad view of learning outcomes and that equity and social justice are taken seriously.
  • Engaging with valued forms of knowledge: teaching and learning should engage with big ideas, facts, processes, language and narratives of subjects that learners understand what constitutes quality and standards in particular disciplines.
  • Recognizing the importance of prior experience and learning: teaching should take account of what learners know already in order to plan their next steps. This means building on prior learning as well as taking account of the personal and cultural experiences of different groups.
  • Requiring the teachers to scaffold learning: teachers should provide activities which support learners as they move forward, not just intellectually, but also socially and emotionally, so that once these supports are removed, the learning is secure.
  • Needing assessment to be congruent with learning: assessment should help to advance learning as well as to determine whether learning has taken place. It should be designed and carried out so that it measures learning outcomes in a dependable way and also provides feedback for future learning.
  • Promoting the active engagement of the learner: a chief goal of teaching and learning should be the promotion of learners’ independence and autonomy. This involves acquiring a repertoire of learning strategies and practices, developing a positive attitude towards learning, and confidence in oneself as a good learner.
  • Fostering both individual and social processes and outcomes: learning is a social activity. Learners should be encouraged to work with others, to share ideas and to build knowledge together. Consulting learners and giving them a voice is both an expectation and a right.
  • Recognizing the significance of informal learning: informal learning, such as learning out of school, should be recognized as being at least as significant as formal learning and should be valued and used appropriately in formal education.
  • Depending on teacher learning: the importance of teachers learning continuously in order to develop their knowledge and skills, and adapt and develop their roles, especially through classroom inquiry, should be recognized and supported.
  • Demanding consistent policy frameworks with support for teaching and learning as their primary focus: policies at national, local and institutional levels needs to recognize the fundamental importance of teaching and learning. They should be designed to make sure everyone has access to learning environments in which they can thrive.

Old school entrance with iron sign.

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