Conditions of Learning and Release of Responsibility

Cambourne’s Seven Conditions of Learning:


1) Immersion- students should be fully immersed in a subject while studying the topic. This includes all senses such as sights, sounds and content.

2)Demonstration- teachers should provided concrete demonstrations in which students should be able to complete the demonstration as well.

3)Expectations- teachers lay out clear expectations of learning outcomes for students.

4)Responsibility- leadership opportunities in the classroom hold students responsible for their learning environment.

5)Approximations- help students find achievable goals for the future learning.

6)Practice- give students time to practice newly learned skills.

7)Feedback/Support/Celebrations- teachers should provide feedback to students constantly.

Using these seven conditions in a classroom allows students the perfect learning environment. Students also have opportunities to extend their learning if wished or improve work due to constant feedback given by teachers.

While in school, both elementary and high school, I can recall teachers using some of the seven conditions but no teacher incorporating them all. I would have enjoyed more student responsibility within the classroom in order to have students responsible for their learning. Instead we sat in a class where the teacher ran and organized the room and the students were only responsible for their assignments-not the learning environment. I wonder if teachers incorporated the seven conditions in their teaching style if my marks would have been different, either better or worse.


Gradual Release of Responsibility:

Teachers strive to find the “Zone of Proximal Development” with their students to determine the difficulty level for a topic they wish to introduce. Introduced by Vygotsky, the zone is defined as “it is where learning can be supported most effectively and extended with instruction. That is, students are introduced to strategies that are new and challenging, but not so difficult that they become frustrated” (BC ELA IRP, page 18). Teachers should model expected learning outcomes is several ways to adhere to more than one type of learner. For instance, if writing poems in a language arts class, a teacher could read out loud, write on the board and play a video that displays a poem, all example of concrete modelling. Once students are confident learning new knowledge effectively they are able to learn independently. Granting independent learning time to students is very valuable. Teachers are then able to walk around the class monitoring progress and use of newly learnt skills. Guidance can be given to students that need help, whereas other students who are confident with their skills are free to complete tasks.

Similar to the seven conditions given by Cambourne, I wish teaches modelled the gradual release of responsibility within the classroom more often. Simply explaining a concept is sometimes not enough for students to fully grasp a concept and put it into practice right away. Using concrete models allows more students to become confident with new skills quickly. I really enjoy having time in class to practice a new skill on my own, this is a good way to see if you actually learned a concept or just can recite one. Also, by giving class time to students to simply practice skills they are able to ask further questions and reach new depths of learning.

Personalized Learning:

Personalized learning is putting the students at the centre of learning. Lessons would be student focused and recognizes that each student has a unique way of learning that works best for them. Personalized learning would attempt to incorporate each students learning style within the classroom to teach every topic.

I did not experience personalized learning in any classes throughout my education. Teachers would introduce a topic, explain it in which ever way they like to teach best, then assign homework based on the new concept, then grade the work completed. Not every student was fully able to learn the concept based on the one method of teaching given in class. Therefore, while at home attempting the homework some questions I was unable to answer because my understanding of the concepts were not strong enough.



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