Journal Entry #6, Student Empowerment

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/11/how-to-help-students-develop-the-motivation-to-learn/

For my second journal entry I came across an interesting article that discusses how when students are enabled to make choices when it comes to their own education it helps students feel as if they have some say or “power” in their education. The article claims that when students are given choice in their education and that they will be more motivated to learn. Some of the examples of choice that were discussed were as simple as deciding what the days homework would be or giving them a choice on what to write about for a paper. Seemingly simple choices that help students take ownership over their own education.

I can imagine that as a teacher it could become difficult at times to keep students motivated or perhaps a better word would be engaged.  Not every project or subject is going to appeal to each and a lack of interest in what is being taught or asked for is likely to effect student engagement. I like the idea of giving students some choice and freedom in their education. Like the examples in the article, they don’t need to be tremendous life changing choices, but even giving students a voice on smaller decisions is likely to encourage them to become more engaged in their learning. Something as simple as being able to choose your own subject for a paper or a project, choosing your group mates, or choosing where you would like to work; these choices are small but they give students some power. I think another important aspect of that comes with giving students some choice in their education is that students will likely feel more encouraged to think for themselves or share their thoughts and ideas.

Making choices is an educative experience because it allows students to take a more proactive role in their education. In the process students will likely learn a bit more about themselves and that their thoughts and ideas are important. As a teacher allowing students to choose also requires a certain amount of trust, which in turn encourages students to take responsibility. There are numerous educative experiences that can result from allowing students to have some choice in their education.

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