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Colorado Learner’s Bill of Rights

We’d love your feedback on these!  Recently, these were created and endorsed by Colorado School Library Leaders. We hope you will use them to help guide you as you collaborate to create powerful learning experiences for students.

Learner’s Bill of Rights

 

The learner has the right to:

 

1.                question and be curious.

 

2.                have personal ideas.

 

3.                choose how to learn and share understanding.

 

4.                plan and participate in learning at a level that’s appropriate.

 

5.                grapple with challenging ideas or concepts.

 

6.                access the information and resources needed.

 

7.                participate in and contribute to a learning network.

 

8.                think critically, solve problems and make decisions.

 

9.                make mistakes and learn from them.

 

10.               reflect on learning.

 

 

 

 

 

The “Learner’s Bill of Rights” is endorsed by CoSLL Fall 2008.

 

The Learner’s Bill of Rights committee:

Chair: Jody Gehrig, Director of Libraries, Denver Public Schools

Mary Beth Bazzanella, District Office, Jeffco School District

Cheri Hilton, South High School, Denver Public Schools

Nance Nassar, State Library

Carol Peterson, Instructional Technology, Poudre School District

Nancy White, ET-IL Information Literacy Specialist, District Office, Academy 20 School District

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6 Responses

  1. Well, I amended it a bit. See what you think about the following:

    Learner’s Code of Responsibility

    The learner has a responsibility to:

    1. question and be curious.

    2. have personal ideas.

    3. choose how to learn and share understanding.

    4. plan and participate in learning at a level that’s appropriate.

    5. grapple with challenging ideas or concepts.

    6. access the information and resources needed.

    7. participate in and contribute to a learning network.

    8. think critically, solve problems and make decisions.

    9. make mistakes and learn from them.

    10. reflect on learning.

  2. Mike,
    Responsibility is a whole different thing from rights! To me, if these are protected as student “rights”, then teachers (perhaps in collaboration with the teacher-librarian) will more consistently create powerful learning experiences that matter to students – and then students will be more engaged and motivated to learn. Thus – eliminating the need to shift the emphasis to “responsibility.”

  3. Well, that’s an interesting point, Nancy. Let’s think about “rights” for a minute. What good are rights if they aren’t exercised? Consider the following sentences: You have the right to vote. You have the responsibility to vote. Which one is more participatory? Which one presupposes both action and ability? Using the voting scenario, what good is it to have a right to vote if it’s not applied through some sort of civic action?

    I’m not debating the Bill’s emphasis on exploration, individuality, and intellectual challenges; those are all good things. But rights without explicit responsibility are empty.

    Likewise, all rights are granted from an outside source. Depending on your world view, those rights could be granted from a social contract, a government, or one’s creator. Let’s throw aside the creator argument for our purposes. A child, as a lifelong learner, will have innumerable learning communities. These might be classrooms, schools, employers, etc. Will these rights follow the learner? If so, by what vehicle?
    On the other hand, the only constant in the learner’s life is the learner. Therefore, if the learner is consistent in his/her expectation to exercise his responsibilities to learn, then he/she can be an effective self-advocate.

    I think that we probably have more points in common than not. However, I suggest you can only strengthen your platform by advocating for students’ responsibilities.

  4. What an interesting conversation. So the rationale above reminds me of the hard nosed high school teacher saying it is not her fault if the kids fail because they did not take responsibility for their work. That is a cop out.

    These are learners who have a right to learn. if we as teachers want to be effective with our learners, we must take the responsibility to construct inquiry learning experiences for them that allow them to blossom as learners. These experiences go much farther than just illustrating the right they value most. We as teachers and learning community leaders must guide their work so they can develop into 21st century learners.

  5. How about instead of “have personal ideas”

    I would like them to have the right to EXPRESS their personal ideas. What do you think?

  6. Leslie, I do like that! The next time we look at these, I’ll make sure to bring this suggestion forward.

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