Teacher Learning Community

Spring 2018 TLC: Using Developmental and Cognitive Sciences to Enhance Instruction - Activity 5 Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element A: Teachers demonstrate knowledge about the ways in which learning takes place, including the levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.

Students as Self-Advocates

In this final activity you will explore resources that will prompt your thinking about ways to support your students in understanding and advocating for their learning needs. Critical skills of reflection and thinking metacognitively lead students to greater understanding of the way they learn and the ability to learn in new ways. A critical component of supporting students to be self-advocates for their own learning is a classroom culture that empowers them to do so.


This article examines reflection and the effects it can have on the learner. Traits of reflection including metacognition, that it is applicable and shared with others are all explored. 

This website houses videos that show students how to self-advocate. 

This article explores the benefits of the neuroplasticity of the teenage brain, and how to foster learning. 

This article discusses why it is important for gifted students in higher grades self-advocate.  It also gives ideas on how to get students to effectively self-advocate.  

"By co-developing classroom norms and practicing reflection and feedback, you create a culture where students want to be included because their voice matters."

This article is focused on maker education and has important applications for any kind of hands-on learning experience. It encourages teachers to frame lessons with goals and engage students in reflecting on those goals to make hands-on learning experiences meaningful.

This article outlines the importance of metacognition in learning and examines ways to help students be more metacognitive.  The author highlights different activities or strategies that educators can use at different student ages.   

In this article from the Educational Leadership issue on giving students ownership of learning, students describe times when they felt in charge of their learning in school.


This book chapter in Teaching Students To Drive Their Brains makes the case that teaching about metacognition can help students better understand their learning.

“Self-advocacy is when your child understands her strengths and weaknesses, knows what she needs to succeed and communicates that to other people.”

This article spells out the importance of student reflection on student learning. It also gives suggestions of how to help students be reflective.