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Your Learning Contract!!

Learning Contracts and Best Practices


Description (Best Practices)


A learning contract is a working agreement between student and teacher concerning how that student will meet specific learning objectives. They can include such things as:

Contract learning allows each student some ownership over what they study, and their progress in learning. Each learning contract is developed with the student’s imput. Contract learning allows for students to work at their own pace to accomplish their own goals.


How:

  • Decide on when the students need whole group instruction, and when it is appropriate to allow students freedom.

  • Introduce the unit as a whole group. Plan appropriate times for whole group lessons that target the major concepts of the unit

  • Provide choices for students to research topics of their interest that are related to the unit.

  • Require students to report their progress throughout the unit.



The Contract:

  • o Has specific goals that are set by both students and teacher.
  • o Includes criteria for successful completion of goals.
  • o Specifies how each student will be evaluated.This method of evaluation should be chosen by both teacher and student

Why use a Learning Contract?

Learning contracts are both a teaching strategy and an assessment tool used to encourage self-directed learning. They are a negotiation between student/teacher and in some cases parents which help define what each parties responsibilities are. Learning contracts allow for shared responsibility of the planning and learning experiences. This allows for the learner(students) to actively participate in the learning process from start to finish. Students begin to feel the need to learn because the learning objectives become their own personal goals. In turn, students begin to take responsibility and control over their own learning. In this way they are an effective teaching strategy in helping students become intrinsically motivated and responsible for their own learning.

Learning contracts provide flexibility for teachers to meet the individual needs of students. They allow students to work at different levels according to their own knowledge. Students are not forced to do unnecessary tasks, but rather negotiate their work on what they need to learn. This in turn, provides them with motivation to reach a goal instead of feeling that they are doing needless work or learning things that they already know.

To view a sample Learning Contract, visit:
http://www.teach-nology.com/cgi-bin/contract.cgi

To create your own Learning Contract, visit this "contract generator" :
http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/contract/