We are taking inspiration from the successful Kunskapsskolan (KED) approach developed originally in Sweden. As part of the KED program teachers take on the role of personal coaches, working with individual students to help them to learn to set clear and realistic, but still challenging, academic goals and to work with a goal-driven approach. Coaching is being trialed with our Year 7 students over the academic year 2019-20, with a view to being rolled out across the school – funding permitting.
Coaching sessions are structured sessions that occurs weekly and more frequently if needed. The content of the coaching session varies depending on the student´s level of maturity and need. In the beginning, students receive help and support with procedures to accomplish their personal planning and understand the working methods. The focus gradually shifts to reflections on the student´s own learning process, where the student reflects on their goals, work, strategies and results. As students deepen their learning, they assume greater responsibility and receive additional coaching towards new challenging goals.
To ensure a structured and successful tutoring process, we have developed a number of tools for the teacher/coach, the student and the parents:
- Personal tutorials/coaching sessions: Students have a scheduled discussion with their coach on a weekly basis. This review, which is well-prepared, follows up and assesses each student´s performance according to the set goals and strategies by reflecting on their schoolwork, results and strategies. Reviewing and reflecting on their own learning process is a central part of the student´s discussion with the coach. As an outcome of the discussion, the goals, strategies and schedule for the next week are established.
- Logbook: Each student has a logbook, containing his/her learning goals, activities/assignments and timetable for the coming week. The logbook is the main tool for the student´s planning and reflection process. It is important for monitoring and guiding the student´s learning process and is therefore a central tool for personalized learning. The assessment of the past week is also entered into the logbook.
- Progress tracking review/Development discussion: When needed – but at least once every six months – students have a progress tracking review with their personal coaches. During the review, the goals and strategies for the student´s course of study are discussed and assessed. The review sheds light on the student´s school situation from a personal and social perspective along with the revision goals if necessary.
- Individual study plan: At the first progress tracking review/development discussion, the student, parents and the coach develop the student´s curriculum with personal goals and strategies. These are the medium- and long-term goals that should be attained within six months. Ultimate goals are those that the student aims to achieve for their entire education at the school, the courses the student wants to take, and the quality of the knowledge as expressed in grades. Based on these goals, objectives are set for the next six months.