Building a Culture of Lead Bloggers

I came across this great article in Edutopia about Creating a Culture of Can. I was reading it with an eye to creating a culture of blogging, and thought that the article could inform and support the approach that I have adopted.

I’ve started getting the lead-advisers into the role of blogging. I’ve provided over a month for them to get used to the blogging dashboard, exposed them to different bloggers, and (as you’ve read in previous posts) provided articles to help them position their blogs’ context and voice for their own professional focus.

Now we are turning our attention to the students. How can we create this same adaptation amongst our students. It is an entirely new thing to blog, to expect to be blogging throughout the year and NOT as an assessment exercise, but as a exercise in character reflection and growth.

One of the ways of creating a culture of “can” is gradual release of responsibility and an increase in autonomy:

The gradual release of responsibility model can be neatly summarized as “show me, help me, let me.” This funnels learner participation from a teacher-supported role of observation to a collaborative role with a “more knowledgeable other2,” and finally to a role of independence that is hopefully sustained.

By definition, this pattern begins each time with the teacher in control, and ends with the expectation that the learner will assume control. It doesn’t throw learners into the deep end to manage the application of skills and concepts they are not ready for, but rather places the burden on the teacher to expertly model ideas and practice — and further, to view the end result of the learning process as an in-control, independent doer.

This is part of a larger cultural shift that is happening within my school already, and so I am hoping that by stressing the context of blogs we can make this just a part of the larger cultural shift that is taking place.

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