Saturday, May 23, 2009

Independent Learning Week

One of the things I like about Angel's school is that it is good at teaching students how to learn. This week Angel's year have had Independent Learning Week. The idea is that they each pick a topic - anything they like, but the title must be phrased as a question - spend three or four weeks researching it, and then their lesson time for the three days before half term is given over entirely to writing up their assignment. They were all given a booklet setting out what was expected and when, and how to approach their projects, with planning sheets and checklists. Most of the research was to be done as homework, though they did have a couple of library sessions in school time.

According to Angel, most of the girls picked topics to do with fashion and beauty, and most of the boys sport. I'd like to say that Angel bucked the trend and picked something deep and meaningful, but no ... her title was "Will we all have plastic surgery in 100 years time?". Whatever the subject matter, it was a very useful experience. It gave her practice in targeting research to a specific question, setting out her findings coherently, using evidence, footnoting, preparing a bibliography, and working to a tight deadline. Having the solid block of time (15 school hours) to write up the project meant she was really able to immerse herself in it.

I asked her this morning what conclusion she came to ... "Maybe. Sort of ... it's complicated! You'll just have to read it when I get it back."

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Tell Angel that in 100 years time I'll *need* plastic surgery. {vbg}