In an ideal class, I have faith in my students to be able to create great things and experience a deeper learning of others’ perspectives through this module. I would love to hand them the assignment, explain the rules of engagement in the discussion forum, and answer any questions they have before beginning. I would then be excited to say, “Okay, Go!” It would be incredible for them to have all work turned in showing growth in learning the material through their conversations with each other and each part of the module thoroughly completed well and on time. I would even be happy to see them reflect through their essays on what they have learned through the process that touched them on a personal level. However, I don’t believe most seventh grade students which I teach will be able to adhere to the principle of being responsible and setting goals to move through the module without guidance. I believe I can give due dates for different activities and they can carry out a modified form of SRL, if that can even be possible. After all, SRL must be student regulated, right?
I am torn when it comes to addressing SRL in my module. Does it need to be addressed? Absolutely it does. Although, I am not sure how to go about teaching it. I thought about how I can model SRL principles by expressing to my students how I plan their lessons each week. For instance, I would explain what goes into creating what I think we should accomplish and try to meet those goals. If we don’t meet them, then I have to re-calibrate my date to be sure that there is a clear understanding of the material. I feel that would be a good example for them to visualize the process of beginning a lesson with them in class and then determining the timeline I expect to have a lesson finished and begin another and so on. I could also model self-reflection by explaining how I assess my job teaching them after getting results from their assessments. I do short-term self-reflection of how I am doing when I have conversations with them in class about the content. Asking probing questions that offer a glimpse of their understanding of the content.
Within the module, I could have them keep a record of what time they began an assignment and what time they finished. Have them self-reflect on what knowledge they gained that can be used later in their assessment essay. Since I believe that most of my students are not practiced self-regulated learners that skill will have to be incorporated and practiced often for them to achieve it. I am a little concerned that as seventh graders, full mastery of self-regulation may not be possible because they don’t possess the maturity to carry it out. Any thoughts from my colleagues about seventh graders being able to achieve that goal of SRL would be appreciated. Do you think it is possible?