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Så i mine timer bestemmer eleverne selv (dog i samarbejde med mig):
· Hvordan de vil lære engelsk
· Hvad de vil arbejde med
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· Med hvem de vil arbejde
– og de evaluerer og dokumenterer selv deres læring.
Jeg syntes engang, at det var en vanvittig ”undervisningsform”, men en diplomuddannelse for ca. 12 år siden med masser af forskning i egen praksis ændrede min opfattelse.
I august 2017 overtog jeg en 8. klasse. I årets allersidste lektion bad jeg dem om at evaluere elevautonomi, og nedenfor kan I læse elevernes svar. Jeg fortalte eleverne, at formålet var give dem mulighed for at evaluere engelskundervisningen, og at jeg helt oprigtigt var åben for at ændre formen, hvis de syntes, at det ville være en god ide.
Jeg stillede i alt fire spørgsmål. (Denne blog omhandler kun elevernes svar til spørgsmål nummer 1). Spørgsmålene var:
1. Did autonomy work or not work for you? Why/why not?
2. Were logbooks good? Why/why not?
3. Was free reading good? Why/why not?
4. What is most important in your learning English? Autonomy or Frank?
Til hvert spørgsmål skulle de give mellem 5 og 1 point, hvor 5 var meget godt og 1 meget dårligt.
Klassen har normalt 22 elever, men tre var fraværende, og en elev havde IT-problemer, så hans svar blev ikke modtaget, så i alt fik jeg svar fra 18 elever.
· 13 elever gav autonomi 5 point.
· 4 elever gav autonomi 4 point.
· Og en ny elev (to uger) gav 3 point.
Så gennemsnittet lå på 4,666.
Klassen er fagligt en meget differentieret klasse og blev introduceret til autonomi i deres første lektion i skoleåret 2017-18, da jeg kort fortalte, hvad det gik ud på. Når jeg kigger på min tavle (gemt i Microsoft OneNote) fra denne første lektion, kan jeg se følgende overskrifter:
“10 August 2017
Autonomy is the freedom to learn
What are you doing?
Why are you doing it?
How are you doing it?
What did you learn?
What will you do now?”
Her er elevernes uredigerede svar på spørgsmål nummer 1:
I LOOVED it. I came from a school with a teacher who always would give us homework and we would always be sitting dying in the lessons but the independens in this form of teaching has really opened up my look of what english and school should be like.
I think it worked very well. I liked that we could choose the topics that we liked and write about them, because it is a lot more easier and more fun to make a project about something that interests you, instead of writing about something you really don't like or think is boring, because then the project doesn't get good.
I really liked that you could work with what interest you. It was good that you could have some fun when you were doing your projects. I liked that I worked with some different people that I normally don’t choose every day in school.
It was with a smile I was ready for Franks lessons because I knew that I would have some fun and learn at the same time.
I absolutely loved it because, there were few restrictions so I had fun learning and I actually wanted to learn.
I definitely like it, I think that this way is the best way of learning English. I think it's great working with topics that you self-picked, and that YOU can decide who you want to work with, what you want to work with, and you have a reason WHY you want to work with it.
I think that it was nice that I could chose my own topics that interested me
I think the autonomy worked very good for me… That's because I like the freedom to choose myself what I want to learn about instead of getting told to learn about something you don't want. The thing that makes this a 4 instead of a 5 is that every time there was 2, 3 or even 4 groups that had this bad presentation and hadn't used their time well and because of that, I didn't learn anything from their presentations.
I like having control over myself and what I do. And generally I really don't like when someone or something is telling me what to do, that's really frustrating. So I like the idea but maybe if Frank got in a little more control of the class while we are working at our project. Which I really hope is going to happen next year.
I think it's a good idea that you give us freedom and show us that we need to work hard for learn. It's a great way to let us decide how we learn English and what we will work with. It's different compared to the other lesson with the other teachers. But that also one of the reasons why I like is, but some time it can be hard to know what to do.
I love the idea of giving us some freedom to work on basically whatever we want, because then we actually want to work with what we want, then just being forces to do something that we don't want to do…
I love it because I would say that I learned not only about English but also about around the world what had happened.
I think it worked great it gives students freedom so they don't get bored and when that happens they start learning.
Keep up the good work Frank
Because there is so much more freedom in the lessons, and it is our responsibility to learn something.
Because it was intrusting to make project's about something that you do think is intrusting. You are also learning a lot about yourself, how you best can work in groups or just yourself and you are also learning how to make a time schedule over all the thing there have to be done.
I give this a 5, because it works REALLY good for me, I think this is the best way, I've ever tried to learn English. Because of this freedom you have to learn English, so it's interesting almost all the time. The only bad thing, with this way to work is, that some peoples are not taking it that serious. So there is almost every time someone's project were I was very bored. But yes, for me I think it work's really good, and that's why i gave it 5.
Thanks for a great year, I really look forward to next year. I've think that this year, was the year I've learn most English, than ever. So many, many, many thanks Frank, you were the best teacher I've ever had.
Because it was nice to decide, on your own, what you will be working with, though that can be some trouble sometimes when and if you can't come up with anything.
I really enjoy being able to be more free while working with project like the ones we have worked with, because I feel like it's not as "tight" as if the assignment is more concrete.
I also like i because instead of being given a topic to work with, we can choose more freely. That's nice because we can choose something we think is interesting and actually enjoy writing about. The only thing not as good, is that sometimes (mostly when beginning a project) it's a little too free. I have (only a few times) found myself being "stuck", meaning that i didn't know what to write about or where to start. Then later i have asked for help and figured it out.
Pupil 18 (new student)
I haven't really worked so much with your way of teaching, but the things I have seen in the 3 week I have been here seems really nice. I do also look forward to getting to know it even more next year.
Autonomy sounds like something that could be a good way to learn stuff because you may feel more like the things you work with is something you like and finds interesting. Personally, I myself like it when there is more kind of structure, but I really wish I had tried to work with autonomy, so I could have a feeling about haw it is for me.
Som du kan se, er de fleste elever meget positive. To udfordringer, som de nævner, er, at det kan være svært at starte et nyt projektforløb og at finde et emne. Det er, fordi eleverne ikke får emnet færdigtygget og leveret af læreren, men i stedet er tvunget til selv at tage ansvar og finde et emne, som både interesserer dem og vil kunne bidrage til deres engelsklæring. Og det andet, som kan være svært, er, at nogle af de andre elevers fremlæggelse kan være mindre interessant. Klassen er ny til autonomi, og jeg bruger tid og energi på at arbejde med formidlingskompetencer (se tidligere blog om samme emne).
Her kan du se de projekter, som er blevet fremlagt i år:
· Reading Sapiens
· Ice Hockey USA/Canada
· Blue lives matter
· A film about Coca-Cola addiction
· PowerPoint JC Lee Duggart
· Walt Disney
· Making a movie about attractions in England
· Reading The Fault in our Stars (+ film)
· Manchester United Prezi
· Ian Brady, the Moors murderer
· Korean war 1950's - 2017
· Writing the first chapters of their first book
· WWW + Minecraft
· Liberty and horsemanship
· Yellowstone Park
· The Amish
· Rich and poor USA
· Arms industry
· Teenage problems USA
· The working poor USA
· Death row/innocent prisoners
· The Unabomber
· Black lives matter
· Conspiracy theories/Illuminata
· Shooting in Las Vegas
· Homeless people in USA
· Women’s rights
· Jack the Ripper
· Terror in Manchester
· Horror Family (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/18/us/turpin-family-conditions-inside-house/index.html)
· Maze Runner
· Writing and publishing fan fiction
· Zodiac killer
Og til spørgsmålet, om det virker … Det er tydeligt, at eleverne er positive, og det er jeg også. Jeg har en klasse, hvor stort set alle er meget positive over for læringsformen, og det er naturligvis godt for elevernes motivation. Jeg tror, at det er Edward Deci (motivationsforskeren), der siger i sin bog Why we do what we do, Penguin 1995: ”People want to be agents in their own lives”. (Folk vil agere selv i deres liv). Elevautonomi giver eleverne frihed til agere og til at konstruere deres læring i samarbejde med andre – og så er vi ovre i Vygotsky ...
En anden mindre abstrakt måling på, om det virker, kunne være elevernes karakterer ved 9. klasses prøve. Jeg havde to 9. klasser til mundtlig prøve i år. Den ene klasse endte med et gennemsnit på 10,3 og den anden på 11,3. Begge klasser har jeg dog haft siden henholdsvis 3. og 5. klasse. Sidste gang jeg havde en klasse til skriftligt engelsk (ca. tre år siden), lå snittet på 10,0. Så det lader ikke til at være skadeligt for deres slutkarakterer.
Hvis du synes, at det lyder interessant, vil jeg fortælle mere på Sproglærerforeningens Sprogkonference den 4. april 2019, hvor jeg taler om ”Hvordan får vi alle med?”
God sommer 😊