Friday , 15 December 2017
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Cultivating Competent Learners by Asking Three Questions

There is no doubt that one of the greatest charges we have in education is to cultivate competent learners and ensuring that we put them in a position to see the value of their education (Sheninger, 2017).  Engaging  our students in critical conversations about their education ensures we keep an accurate pulse on the learning culture we have created.  Too often our students learn without understanding the “why” of content or the “how” they may use this content later.  One idea to ensure that we clearly articulate the “how” and “why” to our students is to ask them these three guiding questions.  Their responses will indicate whether or not we have laid the appropriate groundwork with our students and if they see the implications of their learning on their own lives.  Moreover, we can gain insight on our pedagogy or students’ learning styles.   How we, as teachers, respond to these questions can help us not only cultivate competent learners but also mold the learning culture of our classroom.  The three questions are:

  • Why are you learning what you are learning?
  • How will you use what you are learning?
  • What is missing from your learning experience?

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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