March 29, 2012

The Dalton Ninefield 2

Pupils are co-responsible for the classroom and the working areas outside the classroom.
A good method is working with a ‘household assignment board’. Pupils organize their own planning of work and they are responsible for their assignment administration. They make own choices in the frame of the assignment. Self correction is an important aspect in the process of taking responsibility for the own learning.

Teachers must learn to recognize individual differences not only on the cognitive level, but also the differences in learning styles. They have to adept different ways in instructional design in order to give the pupils the chance to make own choices. Effective instruction is not the teachers action to explain the subject, but is giving the impulses to find out. Experimental learning, and challenging assignments stimulate the motivation of the pupil. More motivation gives better results.
Teachers must create situations in which the pupil is challenged to practice self evaluation and self reflection.

Taking responsibilities must be learned, because it is not a self evident attitude for every human being. If in the school or classroom prevail an unnatural atmosphere, there is no pupil who takes responsibilities. Teachers have to create situations in which pupils feel responsible. For example : pupils can be tutor or mentor of others, pupils can prepare parts of the curriculum and give a presentation to others. In that way the pupil is partly in the role of the teacher.
Pupils can be the mediator in a conflict situation. Responsibility for the school or the class can be learned by taking part in a pupil council, sport or art club.
As long as the teacher wants to be the leader of the process, the pupils can’t take responsibilities. The whole strategy depends on a strong educational management. All teachers of the school must accept the pedagogical atmosphere connected with the Dalton concept.

Last part tomorrow.

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