Welcome to susanclose.ca
a training site
Susan Close, founder of the SmartLearning approach, is pleased to present this training site. The site offers visitors a calendar of coming events, access to resources used during institutes and district or division-based
SmartLearning Rounds, and background material supporting the important work of developing
21st century skills in all learners. Over time
SmartLearning has grown into a system of research-proven practices that equip all learners with powerful tools for learning. Each year refinements emerge from classroom-based research, and from learning science findings (OECD, 2010).
The SmartLearning approach has been refined over time in collaboration with a host of educational leaders throughout BC and Alberta, and reflects the
best we now know about
learning. The approach has been developed, field-tested, studied, and documented through ministry of education and district-sponsored action research projects throughout British Columbia, over the past 25 years. The most extensive research was conducted in School District 40 (New Westminster), 2000-2007.
In May 2008, Susan Close received the Canadian Educational Researchers'
Todd Rogers award (PDF file) for leadership in evidence-based research. This award recognizes leadership in building formal investigative networks that use assessment information to improve achievement.
The SmartLearning approach provides learners of all ages with a nine-step framework and a host of BrainSmart thinking tools that motivate higher levels of understanding. Through the nine-step process learners activate and build background knowledge, set stretch-goals for personal learning, use multi-sensory ways to process information, monitor and self-regulate learning, transform learning into demonstrations of understanding, and reflect on their learning. Reflection includes finding evidence of meeting goals, noticing and regulating brain activity that supports goal attainment, noticing strengths in learning and setting new goals based on deep understanding of the learning in progress.
Structured- talk and assessment are carefully woven into the
SmartLearning process. The interactions build a thoughtful context for learning and advance the thinking of all learners. In
SmartLearning classrooms learners feel valued, included, respected, believed in, and accountable for learning.
SmartLearning realizes the goals of inclusivity and differentiation.
On August 31, 2011 SmartLearning launched the new A•S•K Reading and Responding Assessment. The assessment is designed to shows how well learners are applying skills and knowledge as they read and respond to text. Through the
A•S•K protocol achievement information is gathered using the
SmartLearning process and assessed using standards set for learners of a similar age (Grades 1-12).