It does seem to help my students when I get them to reflect on the progress they are making and their own learning. I suppose you get to see the deep cognitive whirr going on inside them as they sit pondering a reflective statement or question with pen or pencil tapping chin. It’s encouraging to see them then put said pen or pencil to paper to make a personal statement, showing honesty, intention and desire to improve. One Twitter teacher referred to this as the “conscientization” of learning: student awakenings of their own learning process, that they suddenly can then start to take ownership of and responsibility for.
I’ve been attracted by the metacognition movement, or thoughts about it at least. I’ve only briefly glanced over some of the relevant literature, but it encourages students to learn about learning and to think about their thinking. I feel that it sits well with personal reflection that aids the conscientization of learning. To this end, in the final term of this year, as we roll quickly down the hill to exam town, I’ve put together a cheap and cheerful student journal for my GCSE English students, which they will begin to use next week. See images below.
It simply requires them to ponder some self-reflective learning and improving questions in order to help them progress in this last half term, and gives them room to make a comment or two, personal diary style, with respects to the questions asked. Hopefully, they can look back through it as keep seeing their own progress and personal development, and keeping track of what areas they need to focus on in order to really make some strides forward.
It will be class based, kept in folders, and I will ask students to complete the page for that date in the last five minutes of class each week. I’m looking forward to seeing the cognitive whirrrrrrs…