Understanding How Ownership Over Learning Works In International Schools

Ownership over learning understands that every student is unique in their learning needs and abilities while providing students and schools with many benefits.
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Home » ISKL Blog » Understanding How Ownership Over Learning Works In International Schools

For years, many schools have utilized a one size fits all approach to delivering education in their classrooms. Teachers simply taught the curriculum with the same methods of instruction across classrooms, leaving little room for individual focus on the students who need it. With emerging studies and expert takes, a widespread realization has revealed the value of a counter approach to education known as ownership over learning.

Ownership over learning takes into account that every student is unique in how they learn, the pace of their learning, their strengths, weaknesses, interests and more. Rather than see each student’s distinctions as a hindrance, the intention behind this approach to learning is to provide each student with the optimal support they need to thrive in an academic environment.

Instead of forcing students to adapt to a learning environment not suited to their needs, ownership over learning embraces their uniqueness and helps each student become the best version of themselves. Ownership over learning empowers students by allowing them to take responsibility for their learning experiences, resulting in a powerful academic experience.

Are you confused about which curriculum to choose for your child? We discuss the steps you can take to help you choose the right curriculum for your child here.

What does ownership over learning mean in terms of your child’s education?

What do we mean by ownership? When students feel a sense of ownership, they showcase some essential qualities that result in an improved learning experience. Students who feel a sense of ownership over their learning are:

  • Motivated and energized learners
  • Engaged in their learning
  • Self-directed learners with an increasing sense of agency, autonomy, and responsibility in relation to their education

At ISKL, we aim to support each student’s needs by allowing them to take responsibility for their learning experiences. Teachers collaborate with students to develop a learning plan by understanding the many learning needs of each student. This results in students learning to take accountability for their learning and, ultimately, their future.

Ownership over learning recognizes that each student is unique. By implementing an academic program that is flexible and can adapt based on individual needs, each student’s differing needs and goals are supported by their school.

Why are student voice and student choice important for owning their learning?

Student voice and choice matter; as one of the six core principles of a future-ready education, agency is an essential component in any learning environment. Learning and teaching are enhanced and endure when students are engaged in authentic, relevant, and meaningful activities. 

Implementing student voice and agency in their learning within an international school environment like ISKL results in an academically rich experience for all.

Giving students the opportunity to use their voice in creating their learning plan is known to express a higher level of interest and develop a deeper understanding of responsibility at an early age, a skill with long-term benefits.

By giving students agency over their learning, students recognize and gain deeper insights into their strengths, the subjects they are passionate about, and their role as global citizens. In short, they turn the focus inward and learn more about themselves rather than outward and what their peers are doing.

At ISKL, we offer multiple high school pathway options so your child can choose the one that is best suited for them. You can learn more about how we developed our curriculum pathways here.

Students who own their learning are prepared to face modern challenges

At ISKL, we understand that each student is unique in how they learn and the kind of support they need in school. The flexibility of our programs means their differing needs and goals are supported. 

Technology and globalization are reshaping geopolitical and economic landscapes and our students need to be equipped with the competencies and dispositions to be future-ready. 

Through opportunities for increased agency over their learning, at ISKL, we enable students to think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively, and equip themselves for their life journey. Students can explore their academic pathways to support their abilities, interests, and aspirations.

Are you considering enrolling your child in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)? Learn more about the benefits of the IB programme and why choosing an international school that offers it could be the right choice for your family here.

What are the benefits of ownership over learning?

Ownership over learning identifies that every student is unique in the way they learn and the depth of their potential; it allows educators to offer students the proper support to nurture their academic progress. The many benefits that come with these programs, such as:

  • A student-centred learning environment where students feel empowered and experience deeper learning through tailor-made learning activities and experiences based on their needs.
  • Greater collaboration and cooperation in classrooms among students; teachers encourage students to share, exchange and explore ideas while completing meaningful academic tasks.
  • Students develop a positive attitude toward learning and their school community, allowing them to grow their knowledge in an environment where they feel safe, happy and supported. 
  • Students have the flexibility to invest time and effort into other passions that they may have outside the classroom, such as sports, music, etc.
  • Students pick up skills beyond their academic learning, which they will be able to use for the rest of their lives, such as responsibility, critical thinking, collaboration, time management, etc.

Ownership over learning at ISKL

Ownership over learning at ISKL, known as the Life-Centered Education (LCE) program, provides students with an inclusive environment to foster skill development and provide them with additional support when needed. The LCE is an extension of ISKL’s robust Learning Resource department that offers additional services such as life skills courses, social skills instruction and modified academics.

Our LCE’s multidisciplinary team designs targeted instructional plans based on each student’s needs. Each student receives a Student Success Plan (SSP), which is strength-based and intentionally designed to foster student independence and self-advocacy.

Every student’s school day will look different based on their strengths and needs. Goals on each student’s SSP are regularly monitored and reported, along with the progress reports from academic classes, including modified instruction and mainstream courses.

Instruction is delivered across many LCE classrooms, multi-sensory rooms, and general education classrooms. Each student’s SSP determines the degree of participation in mainstream academic courses, including International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, specialist classes (art, music, & physical education), and after-school activities.

ISKL’s LCE program is designed to foster our students with the right skills and values that they can use to lead to meaningful relationships, discover the ways in which they can contribute to their community, and live independent and fulfilling lives.

Learn more about what ISKL’s curriculum can help our students achieve with our interactive eBook “Unpacking ISKL’s Curriculum: Learning Stories”

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