Inspiring Education directs education to promote students who are engaged, ethical and entrepreneurial. This is great, but students are going to have to buy-in. We cannot give them notes and lessons followed by worksheets and quizzes to give them these skills; they need to get there on their own. This is where self-reflection comes in. When a students can think about a goal or tasks at hand, then evaluate their successes, failures and possible ways of extend their learning, they are developing as self-motivated learners. We have to ready them for the world of infinite possibilities, where if they can dream it, they can do it.
In my last post about Using Ipads in the Classroom, I discussed the effectiveness of my students’ self-reflections. As an educator I know the citizens of tomorrow will need to be self-guided learners who collaborate effectively with others. I see the diversification of the current job market that coincides with the infinite combinations of interests, passions and goals that students have. We are seeing a transition from a world of countable professions – teacher, lawyer, doctor, welder, secretary, etc. – to an infinite array of jobs that perhaps did not even exist yesterday. Education needs to move towards a model that not only differentiates for various types of learners, but differentiates for various learner goals and motivations to accommodate this transition.
As an educator, I need to embrace and nurture the individual interests and aspirations of each of my students. In saying this, it means taking the leap of faith to becoming an educational facilitator. Taking a role where I am not directing my students learning, but they are directing their own learning – frightening, but invigorating. To get there, they will have to continually evaluate their own growth and weaknesses, assess their goals and progress in relation to their long-term plan. This is no small order, but student self-reflection as a part of assessment is a great place to start.