When talking about independence and self-sufficiency in their students, educators often use the term “Personal Responsibility” which refers to the set of mental skills that neuroscience describes to be Executive Function. Teachers recognize that in order to develop a level of independence and agency, educators must have a plan to transfer the “process tools” from the teacher to the students just as a relay-race runner passes his baton to the athlete that follows him. The question is, how do teachers create and foster a learning environment that centers around facilitating a sense of personal responsibility in children while helping them build their knowledge?
On this episode, educator, researcher, author, and member of the California Reading Hall of Fame, Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. discusses the role of Executive Function in teaching and learning and how his highly specialized Gradual Release of Responsibility Modelprompts students towards greater autonomy and self-initiation. Finally, he discusses how essential it is to understand the tools and strategies deployed to move learning from the surface to something more deep and meaningful.
About Doug Fisher, Ph.D.
Douglas Fisher is Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College having been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit, an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as PLC+: Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design, Building Equity, and Assessment-capable Learners.
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