Giving Students Control of their Learning

01 Aug

J Bevacqua proposes a nonconventional mode of learning in his blog, Figuring It Out.  In his article, “Giving Up Control”, he describes a research project that he conducts with his students.  This key to this project is that he gives his students complete choice of their research topic and their presentation method.  He also avoided discussing grades for these projects only giving the directive that their presentations must not be boring.  The results were the desired achievement of most educators everywhere- authentic learning.

Bevacqua makes a statement that struck my thinking. He says, “I learned an important lesson in the power of student choice and how to intrinsically motivate them and their learning.”  Is this not what we as educators should strive for?  I hate it when students ask me about a reflection, a journal, a little project with ” Is this a grade?”  I have always wanted to figure out a way to move beyond this contingent foothold in learning with my students.  Perhaps I will try my own little experiment in student choice this year.

In conclusion, my thoughts are that I would love to work for someone like this teacher/principal.  I like the fact that he chooses to teach in addition to his primary duties, which I am sure are demanding. He is in the trenches with those he leads and chooses to take risks.  He is definitely an out of the box thinker when it comes to education.  This blogger is definitely one to follow in the future.

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


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