Modern education should give students greater freedom to choose and shape their path. Find out how to make such changes! Before a child becomes successful, he or she is bound to face difficulties, trial and error. It is a path of personal development, the passage of which leads – first in the childhood dimension, then as an adult – to increasing control over one’s own life. Education plays an extremely important role here.
Giving students greater control over their learning system and path is not only possible – it is more important than ever today. The student’s independence manifests itself in the readiness to undertake personal activity and new tasks.
Education – How to Give Students More Control and Freedom?
Giving students some degree of control over their education means giving them autonomy to learn and explore. When we talk about autonomy, we mean the learner’s ability to be responsible for his own learning process.
The first areas where a child can develop their independence and take control are playing and taking care of themselves. A preschool child is usually able to dress and undress on his own, recognize his objects and clothes, prepare his school bag for classes, tie his shoes, brush his teeth and go to the toilet.
By working with their teachers, children develop certain skills, such as:
- Selection of relevant and interesting books and content.
- Topic selection sequence – what we want to discuss first.
- Possibility of independent planning of activities and breaks.
- Self-esteem and high self-esteem.
By giving students more control over their education, we make them stop being mere recipients of information. In this case, they become an active part of the learning and teaching process. It encourages them to act and gives them a greater sense of agency.
For teachers and professors, the thought of giving students some kind of control over their education may seem like a big risk. Remember that, in fact, this decision will actually make students more receptive to learning.
Thanks to the trust entrusted to them, they will be more motivated to take on new challenges. In the following article, we will look at what we can do to give students more control over their education.
How to give students more control over their education?
Educational evaluation is an area of education that is constantly researched. The results show that it is time to get rid of the traditional, outdated ways of assessing students. In the modern world, there is a great need to transform and update student assessment methods.
Many experts recommend asking multiple-choice questions to force you to think carefully. Moreover, they even suggest allowing students to choose between two or more questions on the tests. Changing the way students are assessed makes their understanding of subjects better and more comfortable.
Create more flexible tasks
There is an ongoing debate about the importance of homework in education. Students of all ages often complain that they have too much homework. One way to reduce complaints and stress is to allow students to choose from several options. This way, they can choose what they want to learn, be more independent and have more control.
An example of such work is language learning. You can give your students a language activity sheet, and from the 15 activities on the sheet, they can choose 10 to do at home. During history lessons, you can give them several subtopics which they can choose to write an essay or present to the class as a presentation.
Also in mathematics, students can choose the most interesting chapter and prepare an essay on it. Doing so will help completely change students’ attitudes to their homework.
Personalized subjects and content will help give students more control over their education
Often, teachers and professors want their students to read a given book and to deepen their knowledge on a specific topic. In that case, it is a good idea to provide them with a list of several books on the subject. Students should have several options to choose from and decide for themselves which book best suits them. In the process of achieving educational autonomy, several stages can be distinguished: symbiosis, separation and individuation.
Education and personal goals
The introductory meeting should take place at the beginning of the year or semester. It is worth meeting with the students and exploring together what their goals and requirements for a given class will be. Also, ask students what their expectations are for the subject.
You will discover that your students have a wide variety of goals, from the simplest to the most complex. And that way you will always recognize a few students who are genuinely interested in learning. Some of the young people have well-defined plans for the future and this approach is the best solution for them.
It is important that the preferences of the students are also taken into account when creating our timetable. This will help make them accountable for their achievements.
Education and educator assessment
As teachers and professors, we constantly evaluate and test our students. However, to give them more control over their education, you should let them do the opposite. This means encouraging students to evaluate their lessons from time to time. Perhaps they want more presentations, field or interactive activities?
Thanks to this, they will feel that you are listening to their opinion and you take their opinion into account. Moreover, they will know that they have a voice and that their opinion matters when it comes to contributing to their own learning.