If you would like to work a digital learning agency that is committed to quality and exceptional customer experience please get in touch. Learning will be a constant and high-priority activity throughout their lives and they will need the skills and tools to manage this process. This jumpstarts the process of becoming a learner and developing agency in their learning. Taking time to reflect and iterate through this process helps ensure our work does not become a fad and trail off when the next promising practice is developed. Overview At University Park Campus School (UPCS), group work is an integral part of the culture. At Norris Academy, Paula is responsible for utilizing design theory to research, prototype, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to learning for continuous development. However, the value derived from it is too powerful to ignore. For youth at Norris Academy, learning means they focus on developing themselves in the four dimensions of Academics, Employability, Citizenship, and Wellness. A project like this one requires a lot of varied interests, talents, and learning opportunities. Teachers Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski outline helpful strategies for helping students feel they have more control. This is where all stakeholders will start to see a visible change in practice. This is an important sense for learners to develop. Required fields are marked *, Contact ME I look forward to hearing from you, Define Your WHY Book Giveaway and Mini-Contest Winners, post about learner agency being the missing piece on the collaborative blog series, Episode #107: Engaging Learners in the Online Environment with Dr. Cynthia Sistek-Chandler, Empathy for YOU in Uncertain Times (Reflection #9), Episode #106: Inspiring the Next Generation Leaders, Thinkers, and Problem Solvers with Derek Wenmoth, 10 Steps to Encourage Student Voice and Choice, Kevin McLaughlin shares PJs: Personal Journeys, Top 10 Rethinking Learning Posts in 2017 | Rethinking Learning, Student Agency – Resources – Kaiako Kate Paris, Teacher Autonomy and Coaching - Steve Barkley, Episode #109: Play and Joy through Embodied Learning with Tommaso Lana, Reflection #10 on Humanized Pandemic Teaching with Chris McNutt, Episode #108: Aspire to Lead with Empathy, Creativity, and Passion with Joshua Stamper, Website Design by Sara Zimmerman Art, Illustration and Design, when they need new learning and how to learn what they need, when they need to unlearn what will no longer serve them, when they need to relearn what they need to be successful. At Norris Academy, we are focused on developing learner agency at all levels of the organization from learners to leaders. Becoming a learner at Norris Academy starts from the first moment you walk in the door. A direct connection can be found between self-directed learning, learner agency, and emotional intelligence. The diagnostics enlighten learners about a variety of things including: This newly acquired information then guides the development of each learner’s plan, pathway, and proof: At Norris Academy, we do not have teachers in the traditional sense. This post includes an interview with Alix Horton, a School Development and Literacy Coach for the New Tech Network , as well as a few thoughts from Randy Ziegenfuss, a Pennsylvania superintendent. Johnna Noll, Executive Director at Norris Academy, is an innovative thinker leading the transformation of the Norris School District to a student centric model of anytime, anywhere learning that is based on a multidimensional assessment that informs a robust learner profile. Engaging all five levels of input builds agency across all levels of the organization. This article shares one school’s continuing journey to unpack, define and support learner agency. Barbara recently launched her new book, Define Your WHY, that is all about owning your story so you live and learn on purpose. The actions we take to “problem solve through challenges” are our “promising practices.” Promising practices become the framework that ensures Norris Academy’s vision come to life. Developing student agency. Learner agency leads to increased feelings of competence, self-control, and self-determinism; and higher emotional intelligence. 16-22, 26-28; 2008b, pp. In addition to sharing our story with the participants of the workshop,… We must expand on the knowledge that we have gained about ourselves during Norris’s self-reflection orientations. A project like the one described starts with connections to the global community. Following his lead of elevating human agency into a subsuming relationship with self-efficacy (see, for example, Bandura, 1999b, pp. Here’s how one learner described the way learning happens at Norris Academy. Even though the term “student agency” is the new buzz word regarding our learners in the PYP, it really isn’t altogether new. The STEM community will research grasses, plantings, and the chemical maintenance required to enhance the ball field. Their profile includes reflections about preferred learning modes, leadership skills, personal strengths and struggles, hobbies and interests, and preferences in communication, workspace, and motivation. Issues of bullying, underage drinking, drugs, and the like might not seem apparent in the school hallways but it’s very much possible. Whether they are considering how well they used their math strategies to solve a problem or reviewing how well they used the writing process in an essay, students begin to own their habits when they have to … This statement sums up how every member of Norris Academy—from youth to adult—approaches their learning. Each design challenge includes a four-step process with “five levels of input” so everyone’s voices are captured and included in the design. Over the past three years we explored LEARNER AGENCY in an effort to develop an understanding of: what agency looks like in action what it does to a child what teacher dispositions nurture it what curriculum structures honor it, and what […] We encourage you to take a look at our course, Learn Better, a research-driven set of modules that is designed to teach you how to learn. While working on these projects, we focus on developing social skills in contextualized, real-world experiences and building strategies to design, engage, and persevere in open-walled learning experiences that are personalized and contextualized to our interests. Student Learning Objectives are: There is, obviously, a lot to consider. From there, learners engage in activities on our campus, in our local community, and in virtual spaces that meet their learning needs. Education Week, 16(23). The team at Norris continuously iterates during this step as different team members join the conversation to build and challenge the current design thinking. Learner agency will develop when learners are involved in the whole learning process - including decisions about the curriculum itself, involving learners a lot more in the choices about the what as well as the how and the why of what is being learned. The learner profile is created through a series of diagnostics within four modules. Student agency builds the critical thinking and problem solving skills students need to thrive. Barbara Bray is a Creative Learning Strategist and owner/founder of Computer Strategies, LLC with its divisions My eCoach (my-ecoach.com) and Rethinking Learning where she shares her resources, stories, and more about learning and life. SLO Process Overview. It’s quite fun as well. The business and human service community will calculate our financials and be our project managers. And, they must possess the skills to learn independently, without heavy dependence on external structures and direction. Learners are also considering starting a few clubs to enhance this pursuit, including a photography club that will take time-lapse photos of the project, an art club to design the field logo, and an intramural sports team that will play other organizations within our surrounding community. Their strengths and needs in core subjects, Their preferred study methods and learning environments, Ways they can get involved in their local and global communities, Strategies for increasing their zone of engagement. In this step, the goal is to communicate the promising practice widely and include more people in the design conversation to refine and further develop the WHAT—how the vision will become a reality. Harvard professor Roland Barth has observed that in the 1950’s when young people left high school they typically knew about 75% of what they would need to know to be successful in life. Agency is expressed when learners become the lead designers of their learning paths and take ownership in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to cultivate to drive their personal or community vision forward. Personal learning begins with a learning specialist who helps learners use their profile to co-design a unique plan and pathway that capitalizes on passions and addresses personal needs. Learner agency at Norris Academy develops leaders at all levels. Learners must understand: They must develop the capacity to engage strategically in their learning without waiting to be directed. Sign up to receive the latest stories that showcase why learner-centered education is built for this moment. And, they must possess the skills to learn independently, without heavy dependence on external structures and direction. There are two formal evaluations during the semester. Currently, the pursuit that I am designing requires me to utilize my research skills and math skills to create a decorative attraction that will become a focal point of Norris Academy. This post is an update with new content of a post about learner agency being the missing piece on the collaborative blog series with the Institute of Personalized Learning. For youth, the first 30 days at Norris Academy begin with an orientation that includes a four-dimensional self-reflection. All of the specialists and coaches are learning right alongside our youth. Strategy #2: Give students opportunities to self-assess on their learning. The heavy lifting for this project will rest with the Skilled Trades community. experience We believe in the transformative power of great digital learning, and how important it is for your employees to have the knowledge and resources they need to succeed in their roles. Set goals and action steps for college, career, and life. First Grade Learners from EPiC Elementary, MO, Designing a Health Fair website. I also share that in my experience the more I release control of the learning to the actual learners, the more rewarding the learning is for everyone. The proof is the real-world evidence of learning and application. The Student Learning Objectives process aims to capture this best practice as a means to allow teachers and teacher appraisers to determine and reflect on a teacher’s pedagogical strengths and areas for growth. At this point, you might be wondering how all of this is possible. Learners must understand the career and learning opportunities aligned to the pursuit they are designing. She is the co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning. The process for learning and the role learners play must be different than most adults experienced. When I work with teachers, I am quick to point out that student agency does not mean students make all of the decisions, but it does mean they get to make some of them. Through the design process, everyone at Norris Academy is encouraged to take risks and push the limits of what we believe we can do to change lives through the power of learning. The opposite of a learner with agency is a passive learner. These issues can greatly affect a student’s performance in class. In preparation, we brainstormed everything this year that contributed to students experiencing a sense of ownership over their own learning. While it is innate for us to have agency, our current mental models of school systems often limit agentic practices. They will survey the land, create the architectural design, and do most of the construction. Through the lenses of Academics, Employability, Citizenship, and Wellness, learners are encouraged to explore what makes them unique. In these design sessions, the team identifies the most significant challenges and barriers to reaching the vision of learning at Norris Academy. Leading Learning in the Early Years: Collaboration and Emergent Curriculum; The Paper Clay Project; Stonehill International School – part 4. The Student Learning Contract serves as the basis for assessing field performance. Pursuits of this magnitude demand trust-building, teamwork, design-thinking, and most importantly, the collective embodiment of being a learner. Adults also complete learner profiles through which they determine who they are and who they want to become. You may be wondering what is unique about these projects. Too often adults treat children as though they are incapable of making decisions or holding valid opinions. During a weekend course, they heard leaders from another school talk about their collaborative teaching and learner agency practices. (Barth, R.S. Develop learning strategies and skills to support meeting the action steps. The leaders of the middle and senior syndicates were participants in the National Aspiring Principals’ Programme. Paula, Director of Development at Norris Academy, has led school teams through the implementation of personalized learning as an Instructional Coach and Personalized Learning Coordinator. Agency definition is - the office or function of an agent. In fact, there is good evidence that they know much more. Read more… […], […] Defining Learner Agency (blog post) […], […] “As educators, we must nurture, coach and build in learners more capacity to initiate, manage, and maintain their own learning.” — Barbara Bray […], […] Defining Learner Agency. Educators at all levels are asking how they can give -- or help students develop -- ownership of their learning, allowing them choice and flexibility in terms of learning environment, subject matter, pace, and more. So this Summer during the ATI Conference (Assessment Training Institute) I heard the term student agency, which gives us an even better idea of how students can be at the centre of learning. Agency is when learning involves the activity and the initiative of the learner, more than whatever is passed on from the teacher, curriculum or resources. We have a sense of ‘agency’ when we feel in control of things that happen around us; when we feel that we can influence events.