Friday, March 31, 2017

Retention, Repetition, Reach

The three R's of retention, repetition, and reach are as important to learning as reading, writing, and arithmetic.

As we think of our learners, we notice who retains the learning and who does not. As we teach, we strive to create lessons and learning experiences with and for students that lead to worthy retention of process, knowledge, concept, and skill. What works when it comes to retention? How do we measure retention? Why does this matter?

I am especially thinking about this as students take end year assessments. Who will retain well and who will not? Why will this happen? Do we study this with care, and use that information to help us teach better.

Many curriculum programs and expectations don't provide enough time, opportunity, and variety with regard to repetition. Most learning requires substantial repetition--repetition that moves from exploration, introduction, discussion, practice, review, more practice, application, and assessment. As we think about teaching well, we have to think about the amount and type of repetition we offer students when it comes to good learning.

How and when do you foster reach with regard to learning. Is that reach always encouraged and provided or is it only offered here and there for some rather than all?  Students who reach with confidence, questioning, and good energy, typically learn more and better.

As we think about new ways to assess learning, assessments that move beyond the artificial grade-level or age-related tests, we might begin to measure attributes of learning well that matter and attributes that I expect will look different when thinking about individual learners.

What do you know about retention, repetition, and reach? How do you include these learning attributes in your teaching/learning research, planning, practice, and assessment. I hope you'll share as I'm very curious about these three R's of learning.