Expectations for Active Learners

Communicate clear learning goals and objectives while expecting all students to demonstrate growth.

Effective educators set goals and objectives that ensure clear expectations for learning by actively involving students in applying solid fundamental skills, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and numeracy and literacy in creative problem-solving ways.

Teaching and learning is not only an individual endeavor, but is also socially mediated and context-dependent (Vygotsky, 1978). Effective educators recognize this and also that individuals possess valuable funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll & Amanti, 2005). Therefore, ALL teachers should view their students as capable learners who can negotiate meaning with others and become active, self-regulated learners and decision-makers. Teachers and students need to have a shared understanding about the students’ boundless potential to meet expected outcomes, demonstrate growth, and use critical thinking to succeed in school.

Indicators of Expectations for Active Learners

The educator:

  1. studies the content of relevant national, tribal, state, and/or local standards and develops an achievement plan for student performance;
  2. identifies clear expectations for learning by stating the overall learning goal(s), defining objectives, and clearly articulating the steps to accomplish the goal(s);
  3. organizes learning where students and teacher are collaboratively negotiating meaning during instruction (e.g., instructional conversation);
  4. understands that ALL children are capable learners by supporting their positive self-efficacy;
  5. designs opportunities to explicitly teach students the social capital necessary for an equitable education;
  6. creates opportunities for students to be active participants in decision-making about their learning;
  7. builds a classroom community that collaboratively sets the expected behaviors and rules, and
  8. helps students examine curriculum from multiple perspectives.