08.31.2021

iLEAD Lancaster Culture: Learner-Led Conferences

iLEAD Lancaster learner at desk

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — Plutarch

An important component of iLEAD Lancaster’s approach to project-based learning is empowering kids to take ownership of their work. One way we do that is through Learner-Led Conferences (LLCs).

Rather than a traditional “parent-teacher conference,” learner-led conferences allow students to take the lead and clearly demonstrate their learning and progress toward the goals they set during their Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) meetings at the beginning of the school year.

The LLC provides learners an opportunity to take an active role in reflecting on their academic progress. During the LLC, your learner will guide you on a journey through their growth during the school year, often using visual aids, giving insight into what they’ve been learning and working on.

Rather than a passive evaluation, the LLC is a presentation. All the information during an LLC about a learner’s work, progress, behavior, goals, and grades will come from the learner. During a Learner-Led Conference, parents/guardians also have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with the learner’s facilitator, if desired.

Beyond helping learners take more ownership of their studies and academic progress, Learner-Led Conferences also prepare kids for the future, equipping them for the workplace.

We believe parents play a crucial supportive role in this process. The focus of the LLC is on learning and growth. It is not simply a show-and-tell display of work. It is a time for families to “sit beside” their child, listen to and trust their child’s assessment of their own learning and ask good questions. Families may also work with the learner to set new goals based on the discussion during the LLC.

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