Over the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to explore and work with the Creating Pathways to Success document that was officially released in 2013. This Ontario education policy speaks to my passion; the importance of helping students learn more about themselves so they create a life path that speaks to their strengths, their interests and their dreams.
The policy puts the focus on student exploration of Education and Career/Life Planning from grade K – 12. Aspects of the program differ as the student moves through the system, although every part of the program revolves around 4 key questions.
The program has students explore and gather evidence of learning in Education and Career/Life Planning. Evidence such as self exploration activities, career and education planning activities, experiential learning activities and self reflections. Students collect this information in the format of a portfolio called “All About Me” from K-6, that then transitions into the digital Individual Pathways Plan from grade 7 – 12. The development of a portfolio allows the student to reflect on their changes in thinking from year to year, the growth they experience and to maintain a record of the process that can assist them in future life planning.
As teachers, we have always been really good at helping students gain knowledge with respect to careers and possible education. Although we are also good at reporting on students Learning Skills and Work Habits, I’m not certain we do a good job at making this process transparent with our students. Interestingly enough, the Creating Pathways to Success document states that as part of the program, students can reflect on the development of their learning skills and work habits.
This makes complete sense to me. However, students need to be able to understand their Work Habits and Learning Skills before they can reflect on them. I’m not sure about you, but I could do a much better job at giving feedback about these skills to students in order to offer them the opportunity to reflect, understand and improve the skills. The question remains…how?
Over the past few months, I’ve also been questioning my views on assessment. I’ve engaged in talks with colleagues and spent time reading about and discussing other educators views and concerns. The result of these discussions (or heated debates) with one of these colleagues resulted in the creation of edmettle, a social platform for tracking student work habits and learning skills.
The idea behind edmettle is simple; a secure platform where teachers can award “mettles” to students, students can award “mettles” to other students, students get to see solid examples of the work habits and learning skills they demonstrate, and parents can gain access to the students accomplishments via email updates.
Although the program is currently in beta mode, I truly believe it has the potential to be a game changer. Any opportunity we have to help students understand their learning, reflect on their strengths/weaknesses and apply them to real life, we have provided them skills that will help them as they navigate their world now, and for years to come. Future success is the result of “Knowing Yourself”!
If you haven’t had a chance to explore the document you can explore it here Creating Pathways to Success