When is a week off not a week off?

…when it’s a reading week. FE has had something similar to the university version this week, with no taught session. However this has not been a chance for students to go on holiday or lay in bed, they’re supposed to take the time to finish off assignments, do a bit of reading and in our students’ case have a one to one meeting with their tutor to discuss progress and goals. A kind of mid way review.

Of course, like the university reading week it is perhaps not used to its full advantage by some (I won’t say the majority here as I could be wrong) of the students. I got to listen into some meetings today and to book some others in for their session, most rather dismayed at the thought of coming into college for twenty minutes and even more dismayed when reminded that they can use the facilities to study and stay for the whole day if they wished. 

Personally as  a student, I love reading week. I like the pause it gives to the hectic pace of the semester and the opportunity it provides to catch up, regroup, rethink and replan. For a couple of years on our degree course we were denied a reading week and I felt the difference for sure, its absence was noted.

It’s a tough one, how to get FE students to study at such times? Is the onus on the teacher to set tasks which will encourage self directed learning or should students be mature enough, especially in year 2 to take responsibility for their own learning and make productive use of the week? After all they are going to be heading to uni next year (at least some of them) and they will need to understand the importance of independent study. Should we prepare them for that or let them prepare themselves? Back to the structure v unstructured debate I think…

 

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2 thoughts on “When is a week off not a week off?

  1. WEEK OFF – it is something to dream about as in life,when you step over the time “student 16-25” there are things to do and things that you wanted to do,but had no time.

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    • Definitely agree with this. Maybe we should just let them enjoy weeks off while they can get them because they are fast heading to an age where they become a myth. Thanks for your comment.

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