"My learning is done to me" - The changes that we need to make as teachers, to allow reflective, self - directed learning for life

As part of improving my professional practice and as part of my Masters degree, my project, which is based on developing my knowledge of and implementation of developing metacognitive practice, e- tools and e-portfolios which will support reflective, self - directed learning practice, has opened many other avenues of thinking for me and identified issues which I had not really thought about eg. the amount of writing time that students are involved in, in class and the relation between this, engagement and reflection and self directed learning. I have just been making a note of how much time children in my class actually spend in this mode of learning each day. They are 8/9 year olds and I have been shocked at what I have recorded in just one week.
Another issue that has impacted on my initial project has been looking at boys and their learning. I am wanting to teaching them to be more reflective and yet much of the literature identifies boys at this age being far more speculative rather than reflective. I have also been looking at teaching instruction and how much is teacher - student engagement, student - student or student - teacher engagement. In order for reflective practice to become part of a students thinking process they have to be given more ownership of their learning. So the dilemma is that if learning is done to students ( teacher - student ) for the majority of the day, then it is very difficult for them to take ownership and responsibility for their learning.
I am in thinking overdrive at the moment. I have decided to keep a daily record of types of instruction for the entire length of this study as well as the type of instruction.
How are you going about growing reflective, self directed learners?

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Gail,

I think that is an excellent question! I currently work at the university level with preservice teachers and this is a difficult task at this level so I will be very excited to hear about your work with the little ones:) I do think if we teach young children how to be reflective then they will be better able to do so when they reach college. Unfortunately, many schools simply do not have "time" to allow the chidlren time to reflect and think about concepts. I also feel very young children are naturally a bit reflective and "mull over ideas" for long periods of time if they are interested in them but by the time they reach school we seem to have "beat it out of them!"

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