Reflecting on Past Schooling

Purpose: to build students’ metacognitive awareness of how they learn best; to involve students in negotiating how learning will happen in their class.
Note: If students do not have prior schooling, these activities can be adapted by changing the focus to prior learning.

If EFF hasn’t been introduced to the students, explain to them briefly that the EFF model for adult education may differ from the kinds of education they have experienced in the past.

  1. Draw from the questions listed in the worksheet to have students either write about their experiences of schooling or discuss their experiences in small groups and record group notes. Photo prompts that depict learning in varied situations (both relaxed and stressful) also work well to generate writing and discussion. If this writing is too difficult, have students simply discuss the questions and report out their answers, which the teacher scribes:
    • What did you like about school when you were a child?

    • What didn’t you like about school when you were a child?

    • Learning is hard when . . .

    • Learning is easy when . . .
  2. In response to those lists, discuss:

    • What do you want school to be like now?

    • How do you want school as an adult to be different from school as a

    • child (or from school in your country)?
  3. ESOL students may find it easier to list adjectives in charts such as these (worksheet):
School as a child School as an adult
School in my country School in the United States

Used in Teaching/Learning Examples:

Hearing and Listening