[RE]LEARN 2020 - The Learning Innovation Festival has ended
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Friday, November 13 • 06:00 - 06:15
Why student choice and voice should be part of our new normal.

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For the better part of 2020, students have been working remotely, strained by the pressures of home learning and a global pandemic. They've been pushed into isolation, removed from their very important social groups and forced to adapt to an unnatural, new-world order. Teachers have been scrambling to adapt too. What students, teachers and families across the world have learned during this time might not be the learning that was intended. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if there was a wide push to harness the difference.

Yet, as students and teachers around the world start to return to schools, there’s already a restrictive, pressure-filled dictionary of buzz words lighting up the world of education. Catch up. Falling behind. Tests. Assessment. Fill in the gaps. Reporting. These are just some of the words afloat. And while there’s been some mention of social and emotional wellbeing, the focus is largely on academic catch ups. But what does that mean to a young person who has been isolated from everything that matters to them? It could almost be guaranteed that, if we took the time to ask young people what it is they need when they return to schools, for a vast majority academia would be the furthest thing from their mind.

So, what will they need in this new-normal? Choices and voices. Choices on how they use their learning environments and curriculum areas to process the after effects of a global pandemic. A voice on what they feel they’ve missed out on and what they need to fill up their buckets. You see, we shouldn’t be aiming to a return to normal, or business-as-usual. If we do, we will only see schools create a generation of pressure-cooked kids. If we pour all of our attention in the return to face-to-face learning on assessment and gap-filling, we will be missing a crucial opportunity to shift the way we approach teaching and learning, and miss an equal opportunity to show our students that their wellbeing, engagement and voice matters. Now, more than ever, student-driven learning and choice should be at the heart of what we do.

In this Firestarter session, Francine will deliver to educators a thought-provoking galvaniser that will unpack choice-based education, why educators should not be looking to our once-normal to inform our new-normal, and the extra importance we should be placing on creating student-driven, choice-based learning environments in this new-world-order. The session will include current research and best practice on how student choice and voice can help students reconnect and reengage on the return to school and why this will have more of an impact on student outcomes than testing and endless assessment will. Educators will also leave the session with some choice-based learning strategies they could implement immediately in their schools that will help rebuild an actual new ‘normal’ and not just a rehashed and outdated old normal.

avatar for Francine Sculli

Francine Sculli

Thought leader on why student choice matters, Francine Sculli
Francine Sculli is a passionate and experienced Arts educator and consultant advocating for more creativity, curiosity, connection and choice in schools.

Friday November 13, 2020 06:00 - 06:15 CET