3 Easy Steps to Creating Student-Led Learning In Your Classroom

1. Stray Away From One-Sided Objectives

  • Common objectives lead teachers to focus on only one aspect of the learning outcome. Teachers should encourage, value, and celebrate student inquiry as opposed to always focusing on whether or not the student met the objective. A student may not be able to achieve the objective, but that does not mean that he/she was unable to think critically and apply their background knowledge. We have to look at the ways in which our students interact with the content in order to build learners who are truly invested in their education. 

    2. Give students the opportunity to learn through exploration

    • In the traditional teaching model, educators often model a skill for students without giving the students an opportunity to think critically about what skill can be used. As teachers, we have to be intentional about providing students with the opportunity to explore and inquire before we tell them the skill they should use. When a learner has to explore and inquire, the lesson tends to resonate with the learner in a far more meaningful way than the traditional “model and memorize”. 

    3. Allow students to be assessed in many different ways 

    • We are selling our students short when we only provide one form of assessment to them in the classroom. Often times we assess students in a format that we feel is best without taking into account the variation in learning and output styles across students. Provide students with a choice in the way they are assessed. Some students prefer multiple choice, while some would much rather have an oral exam, because they are better at communicating their thoughts orally. We can’t be afraid to take our students out of these restrictive learning boxes that have been developed over the years. 

    – Bettany M. Valsin