The third step in the process, after identifying a dream, and the target that is realistic and linked to the exit dream after school, is the ‘learner commitment’ he/she needs to construct in order to make the AYP of 5% a reality. Too many times do schools identify targets without the learners taking up ownership and commitment in achieving the targets. There is no logic for any learner to agree on a target of 5% more than what they achieved previously, while thinking to do ‘the same things’ he/she did during the achievement on the last promotion results.
As indicated in topic 5, the methodology is about continuous improvement, and therefore continues changing of ‘what the learners will have to do’ to improve, which could be (i) doing more, (ii) doing better, and (iii) doing differently.
- Doing more such as improving their vocabulary, doing more exercises and/or practical, reading more literature work, etc. However, doing less is closely linked to doing more, such as ‘watching less television per day’ will lead in having more time to study and focus on school work;
- Do better, such as spending more time on assignment rather than doing it at the last minute, improving the quality of the work that is submitted to teachers, etc. Here we also assist learners in understanding the difference between ‘working harder’ and ‘working smarter’; and
- Do differently, such as doing some of your homework at school instead of sitting at the bus stop or waiting in the street for your transport to arrive, to start preparing for assessment tasks in advance, to ensure that quality work is submitted rather than just focusing on ‘getting it done’, utilizing your second chance opportunity more productively and strategically, etc. Doing differently could be ‘small things’ such as 30 minutes per day more in studying, will add up to more than 75 hours for the year.
In our methodology, learners are expected to express ‘what they will do differently’ in each of their subjects since different subjects need different strategies. We don’t except only a broad commitment such as ‘I will work harder’. A subject such as a language might need more focus on a bigger vocabulary, or grammar and/or spelling improvement, etc., while a subject like mathematics might demand more consistent working out of exercises at different complexity levels. These subject commitments will be evaluated and scrutinised by the subject teachers, will advise from them where needed. This ensures that the ‘teacher support’ will take place when there is an agreed understanding of what the learner needs to be done to achieve the increase performance level, and therefore the target. We further expect learners to make a list of things they will stop doing, and decrease their time on, in order to gain time for more study work and preparation. Learners will then quantify the amount of time they will gain in doing things differently, and this list is shared with the parents, for them to manage the commitment the child has expressed to achieve the targets. The list is therefore not ‘what parents want their child to do’, but rather ‘what the learner has committed himself/herself to do’, and therefore only need the adults to assist, support and strengthen the adherence to their (the learners) commitment.