Learning Target: Discover the importance of agency skills for successful personalized/customized environments

We have seen many instances of schools trying to personalize/customize learning. Often teachers/facilitators change structures in the classroom, and the students struggle. They fall behind and don’t move forward with their learning. What went wrong?

Students ingrained in a “spoon-fed” environment will not instantly embrace personalized learning. Certain skills and mindsets are necessary for success, and these must be explicitly taught.

Dr. Jim Parry, along with Amelia Rose Meyer and others at TIE developed the concept paper describing these important skills. An important advantage of this set of agency attributes is the leveled descriptions of each characteristic, designed to show progress of learners as they continue to grow and learn.

It may be difficult for a single teacher to cover all the skills effectively, but in a collaborative teaching environment, teachers can determine how to “divvy-up” the skills to ensure over the course of time all students are exposed to all elements of Learner Agency.

Some schools look to Learner Agency as the focal point for parent/student/teacher conferences. Rather than focus on schoolwork and grades, focus instead on learners’ ability to  manage their own learning. This document could be a useful guide on conversations about student progress over time.

Two tools useful for integrating Learner Agency:   LA Reflection Tool and the LA Resources.

Take time to “close read” the concept paper, paying particular attention to the clusters of attributes and the progressions from No Awareness to Agency Stage.

To learn more about Learner Agency, visit TIE’s Learner Agency Page.