Learning Contracts

Learning Contracts - A strategy for differentiating instruction that provides for an agreement between student and teacher which can take many forms obligating the student to the performance of work according to agreed-upon specifications, i.e., what will be learned, how it will be learned, amount of time for learning, and how the work will be evaluated (Guidelines:  a. match the skills to the readiness of the learner, b. match the content to readiness, interest, and learning profile (learning styles, multiple intelligences, etc.) of the student, c. allow student choice, esp. in the content-based portions, d. provide rules for contract in writing, e. establish clear and challenging standards for success, f. blend both skills and content-based learning in the contract, and g. vary the levels of independence and time span to match student readiness; (The Do’s of Learning Contracts:  a. help students set realistic deadlines, b. explain the role and function of contracts, c. renegotiate the contract when it isn’t working, d. involve students gradually in contract development, and e. start small, i.e., 1 or 2-day contracts; The Don’ts of Learning Contracts:  a. do not expect all students to be able to use contracts, b. do not expect all students to like contracts, c. do not assume contracts can take the place of regular instruction, and d. do not use contracts without a good classroom management system).