Why students should be involved in Professional Learning for Teachers

Child-led professional learning in school

One of the highlights of last week’s Project Zero Classroom was an attending an Out of Eden presentation where the students were co-presenters.

I’ve been to a couple of conferences where students have been involved in the conference. Sometimes they are there as helpers, others they are there as co-presenters. While helping out with admin presents students with great learning opportunities to organise and interact with adults, there is far more value for me having students there to present their learning.

I get to hear straight from the students what worked and what didn’t, what motivated them and what they found tricky.

The children’s presence keeps things very real and keeps things focused right where they need to be.

On the children and their learning.

Yet it’s very rare in my professional learning as a teacher to have the kids present leading the learning.

I realise that age can make it unfeasible for students to travel large distances to present, but I always value when a school hosting a conference or workshop has their kids sharing.

As someone who has organised for children to present learning it is very easy for me to talk about an idea I’ve implemented in the classroom, it’s another for the students to do so. Yet the effectiveness of my teaching isn’t in the fact I know my stuff, it’s that the children are able to talk about their learning confidently with others.

If your school is hosting a conference and your students aren’t sharing, you might want to think why that is and what message you are sending out about learning.

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