One of the key pillars of Learner Agency is Assessment FOR and AS Learning. Within her paper "Assessment Of, For and As Learning" (2003) Lorna Earl describes what each entails. If we are wanting to build Learner Agency, we need to place the learners in the driving seat of their learning, with the teacher, their peers and whanau in the passenger seats supporting their learning journey.
How might we do this? We need to begin by using the language of assessment with our learners; letting them in on the secret of assessment. Children have a huge thirst for new vocabulary, and teaching them to understand the language and terms involved in the assessment of their learning is imperative in developing their capacity to self-assess their own learning AS it happens.
Dylan Wiliam (1998) talks about Assessment being something that happens minute by minute; day by day. It's primary goal is to develop self-regulating learners who know exactly where they are with their learning, what they need to do next and and how they need to get there.
Using kid-speaked learning progressions, individual learning booklets that are personalised for learners own stages and levels, self and peer reflection opportunities are all part of a cohesive approach that enables the learner to become Agents of their own Learning.
So what are you doing to enable your learners to lead their learning? If someone were to ask your learners the following questions; what responses might you hear?
- What are you learning?
- Why are you learning this?
- What do you need to do next with your learning?
- How do you like to learn?/How do you learn best?
Give it a go... it's a great litmus test to determine where the locus of control sits within your classroom.