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Self-Responsibility: The greatest learning Superpower

By January 7, 2021 Miscellaneous Content

I would love a knight in shining armour to rock up to my house and do my tax, clean the bathroom and build me a new veggie patch. Unfortunately, life experience has shown me my chances of this happening are remarkably slim. With the exception of a very lucky few, we are generally as happy and as successful as we are willing to be responsible for our decisions and actions. And as learners, the older we become the more our achievements are underpinned by our levels of motivation, commitment and self-responsibility. I’m responsible for me and creating the life that I want. And at times that just feels like plain hard (and a bit boring) work.
We know great, engaging teachers are critical, but equally important is the dedication of our students. Home-learning is a wonderful context for students and families to become more responsible for their learning. It’s a great chance for students to become independent and better exercise time-management and problem-solving skills. Students who are often passively engaged in class may find this really daunting at first. However, with the right help we can help create both the attitude and practices that lead to everyone taking their learning into their own hands.
Self-responsibility is a learnt skill and can be fostered. Importantly, being self-responsible in your learning doesn’t mean you can solve every problem on your own, or that you have all the knowledge and resources that you need. It also doesn’t mean that things will always go in your favour or be successful. What it does mean is that you go out there and try to find the answers and dust yourself off and get back into it when you don’t at first succeed.

How do we help our kids and students become more self-responsible?

Responsibility is a learnt skill, and it can become your habit and way of responding to any challenge. We suggest you can exercise the resilience muscle and make it grow with the following questions. After you have a good empathetic connection ask:

STOP! What could you do right now to be back up at a 3 or above and ready to engage?

What are you trying to achieve and what is in it for you to do this? (Find the relevance and sense of purpose in the task, and help to set a clear goal to aim for.)

Ok, what’s the Speedbump here? (And is it external, distraction, lack of time or technology etc., or internal lack of interest, procrastination or nasty self-talk?)

What kind of Strategy do you think might work? Or have you tried A or B yet? How did it go?

Do you have any reasons you can’t move forward? (Find the excuses.)