By Dr. Bena Kallick
Finally the words that have been missing from state standards are addressed in the common core standards:
- “Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them”
- “…work independently”
Common Core Standards recognize the significance of students become more self-directed learners. Instead of raising their hands, waiting for someone to rescue them from learning, they are emphasizing that students need to develop the dispositions or habits of mind that will motivate them to be more independent, self-directed learners.
Costa and Kallick (www.instituteforhabitsofmind.com) offer 16 habits such as persisting, communicating with clarity and precision and striving for accuracy. Their research both from theory and practices across the world suggest that when students develop a disciplined attitude for learning, they not only tackle the tasks at hand with greater success, they also develop a lifelong set of skills that will help them become more successful in life.
The steps to building these habits start with awareness or self-discovery. Students need to know where their strengths are, where their challenges are, and where they have the greatest opportunities to improve in their learning habits. Once they are aware, goal setting becomes important. One example of goal setting is exemplified in the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that is a part of PerformanceTRACKER (part of PerformancePLUS). Students work with teachers to set and monitor goals based on addressing the common core standards. Students can own their assessment data and make observations about their progress in order to demonstrate improvement. They can talk with their parents about how they are doing, creating their own report card of progress. They can learn how to strengthen their habits of mind so that they are working both with their attitudes as well as their academic accomplishments.
Ultimately, the quality of the work will be in the hands of the workers. When we include students in managing themselves, monitoring their progress, and modifying their behaviors based on reflection and evaluation, they are ready for learning at school and at work.