In setting up the new academic year, I have been involved in many discussions with teachers about how we can help our students increase their personal accountability for their own success. This is undoubtedly a key life skill but as we all know, simply telling is not an effective teaching and learning strategy. In order to give students the best opportunity to develop this skill, they will need to have both the “time” and “experience” in which to do so. This academic year we hope to implement strategies that provide for both.
Currently, students receive detailed task sheets explaining what is expected of them from all summative tasks. As teachers, we are now working to provide the time in class to help students further understand the levels of achievement. For example, “What is the difference between a level 1 or 2?” Or, “What do I need to do to achieve a level 8?” In grades 9 and 10, students will also have some MYP time (from 12:50 to 13:10 each Friday) available for their own independent learning. This is an experience that we feel will help them develop their own personal accountability.
In summative assessment tasks, the transparency of expectations means that students will be held accountable for every strand of a criterion. Teacher feedback will highlight areas where improvements can be made and our students need to be accountable for making those improvements; or be accountable for the levels achieved if this work is not done. Every student will have multiple opportunities throughout the year to improve on an assessed criterion so that the experience of not achieving the highest levels is also a crucial learning experience.
So at my school, in the Middle Years Programme, we are purposefully providing the time and experiences to help our students develop their own personal accountability. We are also promoting parents, to help at home by finding the time to talk with your child about each completed summative achievement task and asking them what they learnt from that particular experience.