EARCOS Leadership Conference: things to think more about

Why skills matter

I attended a workshop at the EARCOS Leadership Conference titled Developing resilient self regulated learners. The presenter, Lance King is also one of the contributors to the IB’s Approaches To Learning ATLs. As it turns out there is a lot of research pointing to the “clear link between the use of learning strategies and academic performance” (Farrington et.al. 2012).

An interesting point that Mr King shared from PISA, the worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was that “students who use appropriate strategies to understand and remember what they read, perform at least 73 points higher in the PISA assessment – that is, one full proficiency level or nearly two full school years – than students to use these strategies the least” (PISA, 2012).

There are three types of skills that matter:

Cognitive skills–time management, question formulation, taking useful notes, and reviewing information, and students teaching other students.

Affective skills–Persistence, failing well, emotional management, mindfulness and resilience.

Metacognitive skills 
Metacognitive knowledge–students becoming aware of what they learn and the thinking and learning strategies they use to succeed.
Metacognitive performance–using the knowledge of strategies and skills to change approaches that improves performance.

Perhaps building independence and autonomy in learners may hold the key to helping all students find success in both academic and non academic situations…

Transcultural Schools

Among the sessions I attended, the discussion lead by Eeqbal Hassin on culture provided much food for thought. Of most interest to me was the culture continuum he described that includes Mono–Multi–Inter–Trans… Having been interested in intercultural competency for some time, one question that arises for me is why do we see a tendency for stronger cultural cliques when diversity increases?

Workshop notes


Farrington, C., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E, Nagaoka, J. Keyes, T., Johnson, D., & Beechum, N. (2012). Teaching Adolescents to become learners: The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. University of Chicago. Retrieved from https://consortium.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Noncognitive%20Report.pdf