I recently began to follow @gianfrancoconto9 due to his knowledge and love of teaching language. Following him on Twitter was meant to be as two of his posts sparked a thought towards effectively maximizing student voice in a teacher’s every day practice.
What is this revelation of maximizing student voice in one’s daily practice you ask? Why metacognition of course! It seems all but too obvious now. Metacognition is a term we use and often promote in staff meetings and parent teacher interviews. However, it is not necessarily efficiently used in the name of student voice in one’s classroom practice.
My previous post commenced with a question as to how do we get students finding and then using their voice? At the time, I did not have a clear cut answer but now, I feel that I have a slightly stronger answer to support that question. Metacognition is essentially, simplified with following three points:
- self-awareness of one’s learning process
- connecting the dots of learning from the past to learning of the moment
- learning how to learn
In Gianfranco’s post on metacognition notes that students need encouragement and continual support to foster their metacognitive capacity. This is sparked through intentional planning of designing questions for students that promote their thinking process and require them to reflect about what they are doing and why. Of course, the majority of educators do this on some basic level but are we intentionally doing this to promote student voice or academic achievement?
A great strategy presented by Gianfranco in another post was that of L.I.F.T. The acronym stands for Learner Initiated Feedback Technique. Within this technique, students are encouraged to seek out feedback on their submissions to promote their academic growth and metacognitive awareness. This is such a brilliant idea that not only promotes student growth but student voice.
Of course, metacognition is but one way to bring to light student voice, but certainly stands as a great starting ground for any teacher new to the effective use of student voice in the classroom.
So the next time you collaborate with your students in creating an assignment, have them ask YOU questions along the way that intentionally support their growth as a learner, and consequently, the use of THEIR voice.
(photo courtesy of mr6.cc/?p=2721. Available on Flicker)