Students take ownership of their learning journey!

Try the empathy lens:

Do an appraisal meeting for one of your teachers in his/her absence and just announce the results of the performance review. Now, do another meeting with a teacher and offer her/him the opportunity to take ownership of her/his growth and areas for improvement. Notice the difference in the two conversations!

Step 1

We experienced...

It was always common sense that children's voice would be invited as an equal participant in the designing, evaluation assessment of their learning journey at Riverside.

Watch Kiran share the instance that led to the creation of this process.


Our Insights

  • When children came to Riverside with report cards from other ecosystems, we often found that there was a disconnect between what a report card said and who the child actually was. Sometimes, children with a high percentage/grade couldn’t think through or hold a conversation and some were naturally confident of their communication even with low grades. The report card didn’t seem to offer justice to the child’s thinking and identity.
  • We sensed that young children tend to believe what they are told. For instance, if they are told they are a grade, they would believe that. Likewise, if invited to choose and take ownership of their learning and shown respect and pride they would believe that as well.
  • We experimented with asking children as young as 5-8 years to compile and present their work portfolios to their parents. When given the opportunity to choose what s(he) wanted to include in the portfolio, it brought a lot of ownership and accountability to the child.
Step 2
What if
the child's journey of growth was made visible not just from a teachers' point of view but also from the child's own perspective?

We co-created:

A process which made visible the children's learning journey through a portfolio of work;

Invited children to choose their work samples based on a co-created rubric. Students undertook self-scrutiny and were not pitched against each other. The whole idea was collaborative rather than competitive

Offered children the opportunity of refinement through peer scrutiny by their buddies and others before the final presentation.

Gave parents an opportunity to see their child's progress within several domains and dimensions, academic performance being only one aspect. This often led to a sense of new respect and understanding of their child and also of the school's values and pedagogies.

Step 3

Here is What we Do

This process video helps make visible the design and implementation of a Student Led Conference.


In the above video you will get a glimpse of how students prepare and present their portfolio of work during an SLC and also how SLC helps parents in getting a better understanding of the learning journey of their child.

Meet the Stakeholders:

Eduhero Deepa, also known as Lady Comforter, is a second mother to her students and makes the school an extended home for all of them. She weaves her magic by enhancing her students’ learning through teaching them simple yoga techniques for improving concentration and attention spans. On weekends, you can often catch her cooking ‘au gratin’, while listening to her favourite music :-)

  • 5:17

    1) FAQ Video

    Watch Deepa share some interesting insights on the Student Led Conference (SLC) and her recommendations for its implementation.

  • 4:58

    2) Impact Video

    Watch how SLC has impacted Deepa’s practice and helped her to become an ally of her students in their learning journey!

Tips for the Leader

  • Ensure that teachers spend time establishing the relevance of the SLC with both students and parents as this understanding of the purpose is what will make the process truly enriching.
  • Advise teachers to constantly help children articulate why they chose the pieces in the portfolio along with the What and How of what they learnt.
  • Ensure that the SLCs take place within the school premises and the interaction between the child and his/her parents should be private but not isolating.
  • Ensure that the parents are partners in this sharing and do not trivialize the choice and voice of their child.
  • Don’t rush the process and ensure that there is enough time to have at least two peer scrutinies before the final presentation. This will give children the opportunity for refinement and they won’t resort to memorizing and rote learning of what they have to present. Also, give interaction time between student and parents of 30-45 minutes.
Step 4

Share with us your experience of how you have used this process in your context, any challenges you might have faced or just inspire us with your story :-)

Still Curious?

Write us any questions you have about this process, and we’ll get back to you.

Want feedback

Upload a glimpse of your practice - a classroom video & photos of plans, resource sheets and we’ll get back to you.

Zip all your photos into one file and upload the file here