How to Use Learning Contracts as Learning Tools

Classroom management is a very important part of a teacher’s daily work. You may already know that sometimes the focus will be on managing the entire classroom, and other times, it will be focused on managing just one student or a smaller group of students. There are some downsides to focusing your attention on just one student, and this is where learning contracts can come in handy.

If you’re looking for new classroom management techniques, you might have considered learning contracts. Learning contracts have some benefits to offer. Here, we will take a closer look at using learning contracts effectively in the classroom.

What Are Learning Contracts?

A learning contract is an agreement between the student and the teacher, which specifically states the work that needs to be done, what is expected from both teacher and student, and the time frame in which it will be completed. Some of the other things the contract may include:

  • The amount of work that needs to be done.
  • The type of work that needs to be done (e.g. essay, presentation).
  • The criteria that will be used for evaluation.
  • Any potential consequences for not meeting the terms of the assignment.

You can add to this as appropriate for your students and the situation at hand. You can start with a template but make your learning contracts your own.

Using Learning Contracts Effectively

Learning contracts can be a great way to hold your students accountable for the project that needs to be completed. They are more likely to have a better understanding of, as well as be more likely to follow through, with what needs to be done.

Although handing your student a contract to sign sounds great, it’s not always that simple. Your student may require special accommodations or concerns. This is why it’s a great idea to meet with your students individually to discuss any questions they may have. This can also help allow you to better tailor the project or assignment to their learning style and level of readiness. Another key element is consistency. It can be hard sometimes but following through every time is the key to making progress.

When done properly, learning contracts can be a great classroom management technique. The more you do it, the better you will get at learning how to work with contracts with your students.