In addition to SRL classroom practices, we wish to provide some examples of how schools are using the SLIDEshow materials to further support the implementation of SRL classroom practices in European schools. We now present the case of the in-service teacher training office of GO! - Education of the Flemish community.
Why is self-regulated learning important to your organization? For several years now, self-regulated learning has been a core topic in many of our most innovative schools. In experimenting with more personalized formats of education, those schools were faced with challenges when providing students with higher levels of autonomy. They soon found self-regulated learning skills to be an important vehicle for realizing more personalized learning, hereby helping every student thrive. As in-service training office, we have been following and supporting these innovative schools and started looking for ways to also support more mainstream schools in the transition towards more personalized education. Indeed, after a big consultation round amongst our schools, the following ambition for 2030 was formulated: By 2030, GO! wants to be everybody's favorite personalized learning community, reflecting and building society. In order to reach such an ambition, we started studying the concept of personalized learning and combined insights from both research and practice. It soon became clear that both research and practice pointed to one very important building block: self-regulated learning. How did the SLIDEshow project help your organization to implement self-regulated learning? As an official partner in the tMAIL project, GO! has been involved in the work on self-regulated learning since the very beginning of the SLIDEshow partnership. Hence, self-regulated learning has been on our radar for quite some time. The SLIDEshow project, however, provided the necessary boost to further kick-start our transition towards personalized learning. A total of 8 GO! teachers from 8 different schools were able to follow the SLIDEshow training in Athens. Their participation has proved to be crucial for further spreading the SLIDEshow results amongst our schools, in a more bottom-up way. Also the SLIDEshow webinar was followed by multiple GO! professionals. What self-regulated learning initiatives did/do you take in your organization? Multiple actions are going on at various levels. At policy level, we found that writing and sharing an official policy paper on 'personalized learning together' has been a highly effective strategy to get different policy levels on the same page. The paper identifies self-, co- and socially shared regulation of learning as one of the most important components to realize personalized education. The policy paper clarifies what GO! means by terms such as personalized learning, differentiated learning, individualized learning, self-regulated learning, etc. The paper equally describes what personalized and self-regulated learning means for teachers, learners, and schools respectively. Although we intend to further translate this policy paper into flyers and visual materials targeted at teachers, parents, and students, we already see some results of the policy paper. For example, also other policy texts - such as the one about what the future educational professional looks like - is clearly influenced by the insights offered on self-regulated learning. Also, self-regulated learning is now an important topic of discussions/collaborations with researchers and pre-service teacher educators. As a final example, it is interesting to notice that all initiatives towards transforming schools into digital/blended learning environments are always evaluated based on the policy paper on personalized learning together. Each digital tool or project must show how it supports schools to transform towards personalized learning and to support (and not complicate) students' self-regulated learning. Digital solutions are clearly considered a means towards developing self-regulated learners, not an end on itself. At in-service teacher training level, many initiatives have arisen. First, we have started an internal professional development trajectory for in-service teacher trainers. It consists of multiple 'SRL boost sessions' and workshops with an SRL expert to come to a common understanding. Trainers were also asked to collaboratively map good practices of self-regulated learning in order to further grasp the concept and start building a kind of a developmental continuum over the school years. Two parallel trajectories are running: one with trainers from primary and one with trainers from secondary education. We also established a special task force solely focusing on the question: how can we prepare our department for supporting schools in implementing self-regulated learning? The first product will be a clear poster and narrative explaining the why, what and how of self-regulated learning. More instruments, such as observations sheets for supporting effective teacher behavior will be developed. The tMAIL app and images are being used to further spread the knowledge on self-regulated learning. A Dutch summary poster was designed. At practice level, many different initiatives are taking place. We for example have an Erasmus+ KA1 project in which we collaborate with 53 pioneer schools to find out how we can move towards more personalized education, including self-regulating teachers and students. The project allows over 200 teachers to follow professional development abroad and to further co-design our expertise in personalized learning. Also other initiatives - such as a collaboration of one of our school groups with a university college - are contributing to our common knowledge. They for instance studied the support of self-regulated learning in the context of innovative schools. What are your future plans regarding self-regulated learning? We will further take actions on the different levels described above. Those actions will include the following:
Further strengthen our collaborations with SRL researchers and teacher education departments
Continue to collect and share good practices supporting self-regulated learning by publishing them on our good practices website
Developing in-service professional development
Collaborating with research in order to monitor and assess the impact of self-regulated learning implementation
What are your recommendations when starting with self-regulated learning support? The first step to take is to start talking to each other and to ensure you are all understanding the same thing. Many different definitions and frameworks exist and people interpret concepts in many different ways. We experienced that the tMAIL app and other materials were very helpful to have everyone use the same terminology and definitions. Next, it is important to help each other understand how the concept of self-regulated learning connects to other existing frameworks. Within our in-service teacher training department, it was important to discuss its relationship with personalized learning, collaborative learning, executive functions, metacognition and so on. It is also wise not to try and solve everything with self-regulated learning. Given the scientific evidence, we obviously embrace every enthusiasm towards self-regulated learning. However, other existing concepts still remain valuable and most often necessary. You don't have to throw all other frameworks away. Try to integrate it with what you find works well. Don't start adapting the SRL model yourself though. It is widely studied and will loose its value and focus if you start developing your own models. Don't loose yourself in trying to get all kind of frameworks match. It's ok if they don't. Models should help you improve your teaching practice, not further confuse you. Continue to talk to your colleagues and collaboratively make sense of the different concepts. As a final note, many of you will start observing self-regulated learning skills in him or herself. This is a great way to start recognizing the often complex learning process and to start observing it in others as well. It's only when you start observing the self-regulated learning processes, that you can start to deliberately support it.
Jeltsen Peeters - Pedagogische begeleidingsdienst GO!