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The Importance of Learning Habits

Distance learning, hybrid models, grade level bubbles, Google meets, staggered starts and the pleasure of face to face teaching and learning.  If the past year has taught us anything, it has reinforced the importance of developing and refining strong learning habits. In many ways these are the building blocks or supports that every student needs in order to maximise their learning, regardless of the situation they find themself in.

At AAS, the IB Diploma and the High School Diploma are the pinnacle of each student’s academic endeavours. To attain these levels, the IB  identifies a number of skills as fundamental for every student to practise and refine in order to be successful at school and beyond. These skills or attributes are commonly known as approaches to learning and underpin work that is started in the Middle school. 

At AAS we have our own set of descriptors that we call our learning habits. These appear on every report and I would imagine for most parents and some students are only looked at fleetingly, as the grade is actively sought out. However, these descriptors provide a valuable insight into your child’s learning and more importantly areas for development or refinement to support them in their growth. The six learning habits that we pay close attention to are positive attitude, perseverance, problem solving, participation, work completion and organisation.

If I were to take one example – participation. You may discuss your child’s engagement within the class and their opportunities to provide answers or comments. Participation from a learning point of view is far broader and we encourage all students to initiate and support classroom discussions, be engaged, share thoughts and ideas and be respectful of other opinions. They should show enthusiasm for their learning environment and demonstrate active behaviours, such as eye contact, asking questions, seeking clarification and providing other physical cues. They should be keen to engage with all class activities and listen respectfully to others, as well as reflect on their own learning in order to develop their conceptual understanding – as you can see, there is much to consider when taking an active role in the classroom.

Effectively your child is building habits and skills to support their learning for life. These will enable them to become increasingly confident and self reliant, reduce stress levels, develop independence, resilience and ultimately take greater ownership of their learning – they are fundamentally the building blocks that will serve them moving forward. 

The next time you review your child’s reports or ask around the dining table how their day has been, please take a moment to discuss their learning habits. These play an important role in your child’s learning and the more you understand and support these, the greater their preparedness will be at school and in their future careers. 

Enjoy the break

Russell Croft 

MS/HS Principal

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