It goes without saying that our students’ attitude to learning can really make a difference to the classroom experience. Aside from the curriculum, a big part of a teacher’s day-to-day job is delivering engaging activities that will help develop a love for learning and positive learning dispositions.
Learning dispositions, or habits of learning, are the different characteristics with which children approach the learning process. More specifically, some have referred to dispositions as “enduring habits of mind and action; the tendency to respond to situations in characteristic ways” (Aistear, 2009, p.54). To this end, a child’s disposition to learning affects the attitude with which they learn. This, in turn, directly affects the effort that they are willing to put in. Positive learning dispositions goes a long way to creating positive learning outcomes.
For our children to have a positive approach to learning, we need to explicitly teach them how to learn. We need to help our students understand that different habits and ways of thinking can make learning easier. At Yu Neng Primary School, we have identified four key learning dispositions we will focus on, namely Reflectiveness and Readiness (categorised as habits of mind); Resourcefulness and Relatedness (categorised as habits of action). The first disposition under each category are personal dimension, while the second are team dimension. As all four are equally important and can only be effective learners when we have developed both habits of mind and action, along both the personal and team dimensions, as learning is both a personal and social undertaking.
Teachers are encouraged to diligently plan learning experiences that help children acquire skills and the disposition to use those skills. We have designed these visuals to facilitate related processes during lessons. Our goal is to foster a positive classroom environment and help students be the best learners they can be!
Note: Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. It provides information for adults to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging experiences so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others.
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