As you may remember, I had switched my choice book to ROLE Reversal by Mark Barnes. ROLE stands for Results Only Learning Environment and Barnes adapted the concept from Best Buy's Results Only Work Environment and essentially boils down to shifting the focus to student learning. Barnes frequently references the work of Alfie Kohn when describing the philosophy behind the ROLE classroom.It attempts to tap into key ideas in educational psychology including intrinsic motivation, dynamics of control (student vs. teacher), and the detrimental effects of grades and worksheets.
In essence, the ROLE classroom is one that combines project based learning, student centered learning, collaboration, and 21st century skills.
Here is a summary of how to transition into a ROLE classroom.
- Eliminate homework, worksheets, and anything that involves copying
- Eliminate points or grades of any sort. Instead provide prompt and extensive feedback and comments. These are more informative to the student than an arbitrary number or letter. At the end of each grading period conference with the student and have them explain what grade they deserve in the class and why.
- Incorporate the Year-Long Project. This is something students are interested in and can work on every day, sometimes known as an expert project. They will have specific goals they are working towards.
- Talk Less. Replace with group discussion, mini-lessons (videos, podcasts, etc.), then task.
- Build Choice into All Activities. Provide an objective for the students to share their knowledge other than convergent question assignments. Let them do a presentation, create a question, etc.
- Convert to a Workshop Setting. Successful workshops require interdependence, authenticity, digitally driven learning, and independence. Starting as simple as rearranging the desks into "pods." You, the teacher, acts as facilitator, coach, questioner, and partner as the students work.
- Integrate Technology. Blogs, social bookmarking, videos, etc. Do a 5 minute mini-lesson when you introduce a new tool.