Learners' Stories: Monica's and Justin's Goals
To prepare his learners to direct their learning, Mr. Hlabana gives his learners a self-direction checklist. In the following excerpt from a sample checklist, Monica, a gifted learner, analyzes her skills:
|I set goals that are possible but that challenge me and make me work hard.
||I usually do this. I had to learn sound-editing software to do my last project, which was hard, but I did it. Sometimes, though, I try to do things that are just too much for me, and I have to give up.
|I create reasonable timelines and meet deadlines.
||I usually meet my deadlines. I only finish things late when I have computer problems.
|I ask for and seriously consider feedback from different sources.
||I don’t really like to ask people what they think of my work. It sometimes makes me mad when people give me suggestions.
|I learn from my mistakes and rarely make the same mistake twice.
||I learn from my mistakes with computers, but I don’t always improve when I have problems with my fellow learners.
To help learners become more in control of their learning during this project, Mr. Hlabana asks learners to look at their goals and reflection from the previous project. He then instructs learners to form a few new self-direction goals based on their answers to the checklist.
- I am going to ask Jenny for her opinion about my work because I respect her ideas, and I am going to consider what she says seriously and use some of her ideas.
- I am going to write in my journal every day about what progress I have made and what I am going to get accomplished the next day.
- I will make sure I have my materials ready each day when class begins.
- I will slow down when I do my work and check over it before I turn it in to look for careless errors.
Mr. Hlabana keeps a copy of his learners’ self-direction goals and refers to the goals periodically as he meets with his learners. At the end of each project, learners connect their goals to the next project, and they do a final reflection at the end of the year.
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