In discussing the activity-based learning model the other day, I realized that there had to be another layer to it. Just as a reflection by the learner on the product they produce as the outcome of an activity should be developed, there’s another way in which reflection should come into play.
What I mean here is that there should be a reflection layer on top of the curricula and the content as well, this time by the instructor and administration. In fact, there may need to be several layers.
For one, the choice of activities should be made explicit in terms of why they’re chosen and how they instantiate the curricula goals. This includes the choice of products and guidance for reflection activities. This is for a wide audience, including fellow teachers, administrators, parents, and legislators. Whoever is creating the series of activities should be providing a design rationale for their choice of activities.
Second, the choice of content materials associated with the activities should have a rationale. Again, for fellow teachers, administrators, parents, and legislators. Again, a design rationale makes a plausible framework for dialog and improvement.
In both cases, however, they’re also for the learners. As I subsequently indicated, I gradually expect learners to take responsibility for setting their own activities, as part of the process of becoming self learners. Similarly, the choice of products, content materials, and reflections will become the learners to improve their meta-learning skills.
All together, this is creating a system that is focused on developing meaningful content and meta-learning skills that develops learners into productive members of the society we’re transitioning into.
(And as a meta-note, I can’t figure out how to graft this onto the original diagram, without over-crowding the diagram, moving somehow to 3D, or animating the elements, or… Help!)