Year 5 and 6 students at Hampden Street School talk about the positive impact student agency is having on their learning, how it’s changing their interactions with teachers and classmates, and the resulting lift in their motivation, engagement, and achievement.
Narrator: Year 5 and 6 students at Hampden Street School are excited to be given greater ownership of their learning. Students talk about the positive impact this is having on their learning, how it’s changing their interactions with teachers and classmates, and the resulting lift in their motivation, engagement, and results.
Scott Mackenzie: Looking back on the last three years, I would say the greatest impact on our students has been the development of student agency.
Student: I came from a more traditional school and I found this learning better because you’ve just got a lot more responsibility and ownership of what you’re doing.
Student 2: I think it’s really good when you have lots of choice in your learning because then you can really get engaged in what you’re doing and take lots of responsibility and I think it helps you learn more.
Student 3: The MLE is improving everybody’s learning, it builds them into a more self-confident, self-managed, self-everything really learner!
Scott Mackenzie: Children have their own personal learning blog, so they have to reflect on their learning and say what they’ve been doing.
Student 4: To understand what I’m doing at school, my parents, they often look at my digital blog. We record a lot of our progress. We always do our goals and reflect on them.
Scott Mackenzie: The students also feel now, they can approach any teacher, no matter whether it’s maths, reading, whatever’s going on.
Student 4: My teacher told me something about my writing that I didn’t really understand and then Mr Mackenzie, another teacher from Room 2, he came in and he explained it to me at a different angle and I think that let me understand it a lot more.
Student 5: If you had a teacher last year who you really enjoyed having, you can go and see them as well.
Scott Mackenzie: The thing is, if you’ve come from classes where you have just been sitting, listening, your initiative has been squashed because of sort of control, management of a class, and then you’re expected to suddenly collaborate, we’ve had some real difficulties and we’ve had to go back to the key competencies and really work on those.
Student 6: We are definitely being challenged much more because it’s more up to us, rather than the teacher telling us what to do.
Student 7: We’ve got a rule, see three before me, you’ve got to ask three people about your question before you ask the teacher.
Student 8: I think I am quite good at monitoring my progress, like there was two different workshops, and I didn’t need to go to one, I already knew how to do that, I would choose to go to the other one. Not because my friends went to that one, but because I need to work on that.
Student 7: The skills we’ve had to build up are probably self-managing would be one, leading, learning, and also teaching others, teaching is an important part of it.
Student 4: We’re encouraged to teach other kids in our class, and around the whole syndicate, because teaching other kids is actually learning yourself.
Student 7: My Mum’s got a quote, “See one, do one, teach one, then you’ve learnt one”.
Teacher: One of the thing’s we’ve noticed is a big improvement in behaviour. A number of parents have given feedback that their children who had been lacking motivation or disengaged in school had become more engaged.
Student 1: My parents think it’s better, my scores are going up.
Student 8: My parents really like how there’s the open space and you actually have to make your own decisions, not get told by the teacher.
Student 7: The teachers find it a lot more satisfying when the students get good results, which is exactly what the MLE is about.
Student 4: I think the modern learning environment is a really good learning experience for the kids, it gives them the chance to learn about self-management and a bit of responsibility for their own learning.
Student 6: I love the choice of the MLE because we’re always engaged and motivated in what we want to learn. It’s quite fun as well.
Student 7: The modern learning environment and student agency is revolutionary, Take me for example, I used to really hate working and coming to school was the downside of my day. Just last year, the start of last year, I started in an MLE, it’s really, really, I know this is a silly word that they only use in comics, but, life changing.
Student 4: I love the learning experience and you should definitely do it.