Prepare, Practice, Perform, Persist: 4P’s to Successful Engagement & Learning

Most kids want to participate in sport but are often turned off if they perceive they are not “good” at the sport.  PK, a recent grade 12 graduate could have made the choice “to quit” many times.  Throughout his schooling, he has achieved what would be considered average and above average grades.  There are times when school work was avoided or incomplete resulting in a low grade or zero.  PK loves sports, sometimes making the school basketball team, sometimes not, playing handball, loving to throw a football around, play volleyball etc.  PK loves baseball and pitched two no hitters in his midget year of AAA baseball–major accomplishments for a pitcher.

I can’t help but connect this story to the world of self assessment.   PK seems like a pretty typical graduate and he is.  A recent blog post by Luc Lerminiaux regarding student engagement and belonging explains three types of engagement:   Social Engagement, Institutional Engagement and Instructional Engagement.   After a successful baseball season, I asked PK what lead to his success on the field.  His reply related to aspects of engagement.

“Well, I got good coaching, I practiced, I worked hard to learn and perfect my skills and I persisted.” 

Not surprising that the 4 P’s above (preparing, practice, performance and persistance) contribute to success.  What a great message for any learner and teacher. As a teacher and mentor I plan to use these fantastic four P’s in the following ways.

1.  Continue to deepen understanding of assessment and instruction practices so that I am prepared to coach and encourage educators and students.

2.  Practice assessment techniques in meaningful ways.  Inquire about engaging kids in assessment.

3.  Perform and model perfected assessment techniques and strategies.

4.  Persist with educating about research based, assessment practices to kids, teachers and parents.

My hypothesis:  If we coach students to prepare, practice, perform, and persist in intellectual learning in meaningful ways, they will be more engaged in learning resulting in improved achievement.


About lgatzke

I am an assessment supervisor passionate about getting kids smarter. As Dylan Wiliam says, "Smart is not something you are, smart is something you get".
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