Realms of influence and concern

Teacher feedback helps students reflect on their strengths and areas of growth. However, much deeper, more personal reflection and growth can occur if students are asked to identify their own areas of influence and concern.

There are always aspects of their learning that worry student’s, but there are also things that they can influence and have control over. Identifying them builds confidence by helping them see that they do have influence over their own learning, and areas of concern once identified can be addressed.

For this reflection I adapted a protocol from the National School Reform Facility called “Realms of influence and concern”.

The protocol supports inquiry-based learning (Li, 2013) and the IB learner profile

Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development (IBO, 2013)

Prior to starting the protocol the students had received written feedback on a practical investigation they had just completed.realms of concern and influence-1


  1. The students were asked to draw three concentric circles of increasing size.
  2. In the smallest, central circle they placed themselves. They were then asked to imagine that their success lay outside all of the circles.
  3. I then asked them to list some of the things were most concerned about, things about science report writing that worried them, that got in the way of them being successful. These “Realms of Concern” went into the outer ring.
  4. They were then asked to think about the aspects of report writing that they did have influence over. These “Realms of Influence” went into the middle circle.

What were the students thinking – what were their realms of influence and concern



Afterwards, as a class we discussed

• What did you see? What stuck out? What was significant?

• What were the difference between the “concerns” list and the “influence” list?

• What does this mean for your work?

• How can you make your realm of Influence larger and realm of concern smaller?



Na Li. Approaches to learning literature review (2012). International Baccalaureate Organization.

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