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The Power of Student-Led Conferences

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

If you are new to student-led conferences, you might be thinking, “Is it possible for my child to inform me of their learning?” The answer is yes! Student-led conferences challenge the notion that children need adults to communicate who they are as learners. Although, teachers play a critical role in preparing students for conferences, the aim of this powerful reporting practice is to have children take ownership for communicating and/or demonstrating their learning journey.

So, what are student-led conferences?

A student-led conference is a formal, interactive conference led by the student that highlights and celebrates learning. Students are placed at the center of the reporting process, as they demonstrate responsibility for their academic performance by leading parents through a review of their work, and by demonstrating newly acquired skills and understanding. The students lead the conference through demonstrations, presentation of work samples, sharing of academic and personal goals, and by answering questions from their parents.

Why are student-led conferences so powerful?

Student ownership - Students are empowered to take responsibility for their learning by reviewing their performance across subjects, identifying their accomplishments, and establishing areas for development through goal setting.

Demonstration of knowledge - Through work samples, projects, technology, and activities students demonstrate the knowledge they have learned across subjects in a real and significant context.

Active engagement - Student are at the centre of the reporting process. They engage in interactive activities and facilitate deep and meaningful conversations about their learning.

Assessment for learning - Students are positioned as experts in their own learning. Emphasis is placed on the learning process, as opposed to a grade.

To be best prepared for future success, we believe our students must take an active role in assessing their learning. Student-led conferences are a wonderful example of how our students are continually guided to be reflective and goal-oriented learners!