Could a learner-led conference be more effective than a traditional parent-teacher conference?

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How to start with learner-led conferences

For many educators, the idea of letting a student lead a parent-teacher conference is unsettling. However, if done correctly, a learner-led conference opens an opportunity for self-evaluation, which can lead to figuring out the next steps in learning.

Our guest in Episode 222 has spent years practicing learner-led conferences. Paul Emerich France is a National Board-certified teacher, consultant, and author of Reclaiming Personalized Learning: A Pedagogy for Restoring Equity and Humanity in Our Classrooms.

He believes that a learner-led dialog provides teachers with a tool for enabling learner-driven personalization, making students partners in reflecting on their learning.

But pump the breaks for a minute. We’re not suggesting you dive in head first and start allowing your students to run the parent-teacher conference tomorrow.

There’s a process, and Paul explains that in our latest episode and his recent Edutopia post.

“So, just like anything else in our classrooms, we need to be prepared to support all types of learners in a learner-led conference,” he says.

Paul’s first recommendation is to start a portfolio process from day one. He says that for students to be able to drive their learning, they must have specific artifacts they can refer to while describing their knowledge.

To hear all of Paul’s learner-Led conference tips, listen to Episode 222 of Class Dismissed Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

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