The personal coaching method is based on thinking from several areas, such as motivational- and developmental psychology, but also from pedagogy and cognitive psychology. The theory of multiple intelligences has inspired our way of working to help students develop personalized learning strategies.
Personal coaching contributes to the student´s personal development as the student´s learning is structured, supported, assessed, and followed up. Through personal coaching, students learn to set clear and realistic, but still challenging, goals for their studies and to work in a goal-driven manner.
The student´s personal coach plays a decisive role in making the studies successful. The personal coach instructs the student in a structured manner that is not based on subject matter. This means that students receive help with defining goals, finding the strategies to reach them, planning and following up their goals and strategies and reflecting on their own learning process.
Personal coaching is not limited to scheduled talks to discuss the student´s coaching and development — it is a continuous dialogue between the student and the coach. This dialogue is characterized by closeness and concern. The coach is responsible for ensuring that the students assume the responsibility they can manage — and no more.
The content of the one-on-one tutorials varies, as in all coaching, depending on the student´s level of maturity and needs. In the beginning, the students receive mainly help and support with procedures — to accomplish their personal planning and understand the working methods. The focus gradually shifts to reflections on the student´s own learning process, where the students reflect on their goals, work, strategies and results. As students deepen their studies, they assume greater responsibility and receive additional coaching towards new challenging goals.
To ensure a structured and successful tutoring process, we have developed a number of tools for the teacher/coach, the student and the parents:
Personal tutorials/coaching sessions:
Students have a scheduled discussion with their coach on a weekly basis. This review, which is well-prepared, follows up and assesses each student´s performance according to the set goals and strategies by reflecting on their schoolwork, results and strategies. Reviewing and reflecting on their own learning process is a central part of the student´s discussion with the coach. As an outcome of the discussion, the goals, strategies and schedule for the next week are established.
Each student has a logbook, containing his/her learning goals, activities/tasks and timetable for the coming week. The logbook is the main tool for the student´s planning and reflection process. It is important for monitoring and guiding the student´s learning process and is therefore a central tool for personalized learning. The assessment of the past week is also entered into the logbook.
Progress tracking review/Development discussion:
When needed — but at least once every six months — students have a progress tracking review with their personal coaches. During the review, the goals and strategies for the student´s course of study are discussed and assessed. The review sheds light on the student´s school situation from a personal and social perspective and the goals are revised if necessary.
Individual study plan:
At the first progress tracking review/development discussion, the student, parents and the coach develop the student´s curriculum with personal goals and strategies. These are the medium- and long-term goals that should be attained within six months. Ultimate goals are those that the student aims to achieve for her entire education, the courses the student wants to take, and the quality of the knowledge as expressed in marks or exam scores. Based on these goals, objectives are set for the next six months. The individual study plan is documented in the EDS. The individual study plan is a living document that is reviewed and revised on a continuous basis.
With the Educational Documentation System (EDS), the coach, student, and parents can follow the student´s learning process. The EDS contains the student´s personal curriculum and ultimate goals, and goals and strategies for the school term. The student´s grade results as well as their own personal reflections of his/her performance during the term are also documented in the EDS.