Students should be allowed to choose own medium of instruction

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Students should be allowed to choose own medium of instruction

Why and How to Let Students Decide By Alfie Kohn The essence of the demand for freedom is the need of conditions which will enable an individual to make his own special contribution to a group interest, and to partake of its activities in such ways that social guidance shall be a matter of his own mental attitude, and not a mere authoritative dictation of his acts.

But what if, hypothetically speaking, this syndrome also affected students? Teachers around the country to whom I have put this question immediately suggest such symptoms as disengagement and apathy — or, conversely, thoughtlessness and aggression.

Students should be allowed to choose own medium of instruction

Either tuning out or acting out might signal that a student was burning out. In both cases, he or she would presumably just go through the motions of learning, handing in uninspired work and counting the minutes or days until freedom. Of course, no sooner is this sketch of a hypothetical student begun than we recognize it as a depiction of real life.

The fact is that students act this way every day. But now let us ask what we know from research and experience in the workplace about the cause of burnout.

The best predictor, it turns out, is not too much work, too little time, or too little compensation. Rather, it is powerlessness — a lack of control over what one is doing.

Middle Schools: Social, Emotional, and Metacognitive Growth

Combine that fact with the premise that there is no minimum age for burnout, and the conclusion that emerges is this: The mystery, really, is not that so many students are indifferent about what they have to do in school but that any of them are not.

To be sure, there is nothing new about the idea that students should be able to participate, individually and collectively, in making decisions.

This conviction has long played a role in schools designated as progressive, democratic, open, free, experimental, or alternative; in educational philosophies called developmental, constructivist, holistic, or learner-centered; in specific innovations such as whole-language learning, discovery-based science, or authentic assessment; and in the daily practice of teachers whose natural instinct is to treat children with respect.

But if the concept is not exactly novel, neither do we usually take the time to tease this element out of various traditions and examine it in its own right. Why is it so important that children have a chance to make decisions about their learning? How might this opportunity be provided with regard to academic matters as well as other aspects of school life?

Finally, what barriers might account for the fact that students so rarely feel a sense of self-determination today? A close inspection of these issues will reveal that the question of choice is both more complex and more compelling than many educators seem to assume.

Several years ago, a group of teachers from Florida traveled to what was then the USSR to exchange information and ideas with their Russian-speaking counterparts. What the Soviet teachers most wanted from their guests was guidance on setting up and running democratic schools. Their questions on this topic were based on the assumption that a country like the United States, so committed to the idea of democracy, surely must involve children in decision-making processes from their earliest years.

The irony is enough to make us wince. As one survey of American schools after another has confirmed, students are rarely invited to become active participants in their own education. An array of punishments and rewards is used to enforce compliance with an agenda that students rarely have any opportunity to influence.

Choices for Children: Why and How to Let Students Decide (*) - Alfie Kohn

In each case, students are almost never involved in deliberating about such ideas; their job is basically to do as they are told.

Moreover, consider the conventional response when something goes wrong as determined, of course, by the adults. Are two children creating a commotion instead of sitting quietly? Have the desks become repositories for used chewing gum?

Do students come to class without having done the reading? Hit them with a pop quiz. A year-old is not going to dictate to me how this school is run.

As for the content of instruction, the educators who shape the curriculum rarely bother to consult those who are to be educated.The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA eighth edition, including the list of works cited and in-text citations. Teaching content to ELs: The challenge.

In my work supporting general education and ESL/bilingual teachers who provide sheltered instruction for English learners (ELs), I have met many teachers like Mrs. Shell. While these teachers want to provide effective instruction for their ELs, often they don't see themselves as language teachers and so they aren't sure where to begin with their students.

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Choices for Children Why and How to Let Students Decide. By Alfie Kohn. In expressing an idea or responding to a lesson, children sometimes can be allowed to decide what medium or genre they will use – whether they want to write a poem, an essay, or a play or do a collage, painting, or sculpture.

Should kids pick their own classes? 72% Say Yes Can pick their own curriculum and like the subject To begin,students should choose their own classes because if they are assigned classes they might not like the class be bored and get a bad grade, if they do choose their own classes they can have fun in the classes and try their best and get.

Schools allowed to choose their own medium of instruction: most said they were English medium, in reality most teachers taught through code mixed English .

Choosing Choice: How Research and Best Practices Changed My Teaching