SLC's: Prudent or Pointless
SLC’S, or student-led conferences have been a part of the IB program since its inception, its goal is for the students to lead their own learning taking responsibility for their own understanding and explaining what they are proud of. While SLC’S can do all that good stuff and more, people are beginning to question whether or not we need SLC’S to do this.
After interviewing students, it was a unanimous decision that SLC were pointless and did nothing to benefit the students' learning, while the parents were much more supportive of SLC’S. However there was still backlash from a parent during a coffee morning session for 8th grade.
The main argument made was that SLC’s are very limiting in terms of what teachers and parents can interact with, as the teachers of the main subjects the parents were interested in for their child, weren’t guaranteed to be available, therefore making some information they would like inaccessible during a conference meeting made for that exact purpose.
Therefore even some parents are starting to criticise SLC’s not in concept but in practise, whereas the students are questioning SLC’s as a concept. This split in opinion between the parents and the students makes it very difficult for SLC’s to achieve their purpose of letting students lead their learning, if they do not see the point in leading their own learning and thus spend 30 minutes wasting time talking about something they don’t care about.
However for the parents, without these 30 minutes, they don’t get to learn from the student what exactly they are learning, what they need to improve on and more. It causes a malfunction in communication because there is no reason for the student to share information, even if the information is necessary to the parents and teachers and causes there to be resentment between the parents and teachers, and students which might make students even less willing to share their learnings.
Thus it is clear that while the concept of SLC’s are noble, and very much needed for the parents and teachers, the execution of SLC’s is done such that the students will never cooperate with what the SLC’s want, and will actually undermine communication between parents and students about learning.
The topic of SLC’s is very controversial, but very important to the school, and the IB program. If we let the idea of taking charge of our learning cloud the reality of causing less interaction than before, then what is the point of having them in the first place?
- Akshat Ambekar