Learner Choice

Voice & Choice Key To Ownership, Agency and Deeper Learning

Author: | Category: Making Magic

Meet the Maker

Michael Niehoff, Maker Team Advisor / Content Creator

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Ireland or Scotland

What makes you angry?
Hypocrisy, Ignorance

Who Is Your Favorite Songwriter?
Paul Westerberg of the Replacements

This Week’s Why?
Most human beings will acknowledge that they like to have autonomy in their work. We want others to trust us in that we can rise to the challenge or the occasion and get the job done. If we are given the power to make and implement decisions, we will be motivated and empowered to meet any challenge. Most human beings will also admit that they need clear expectations, guidance, boundaries and support. If we have to operate with little or no autonomy, we become disengaged and uninspired. If we are given no leadership and support, we can also run smack dab into chaos or anarchy. The truth is that most of us operate very well with something in the middle. We do not want to be micromanaged. But we do want expectations.

In education, especially in project-based and deeper learning, facilitators have discovered that offering learners voice and choice is the path to empowerment and success. We offer learners choice on how they present or defend their learning, where they can focus specifically in terms of a challenge or problem, as well as whom they might collaborate with as well. There are many ways to create choices and options. What’s important is that the learners have choices.

This Week’s Focus

Driving Question

How can we use voice and choice to empower all learners to take charge of their learning and their lives?

Practitioners and proponents of project-based and deeper learning will typically mention Voice & Choice as a foundational pedagogical element. And this is indeed true. However, we don’t always examine the why or even the how. Truth is that Voice & Choice have significant psychological and learning implications. It’s something that applies to work in general, as well as project-based learning. This week, we will share some resources and information not only on the importance of voice and choice, but also what it looks and feels like. In order to be an actualized adult in our society, one has to take control over their life – and this should include their learning. PBL Practitioners know that the more we can get learners to take ownership of their learning, the more motivated and engaged they become – ultimately leading to deeper and more authentic learning. The challenge for educators has always been about the balance of control.

Being Makers

Being Makers

Being Makers is a team of change-making leaders from Maker Learning Network and iLEAD Schools focused on project-based learning and social-emotional growth.
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