Does giving students more autonomy make a difference? Autonomy enhances competence, enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, engagement and learning outcomes.
Organisational and procedural autonomy:
Giving students opportunities for decision-making on procedures and task format – for example, choosing group members, how to work with materials, how to display work and which group should present first.
Rationale and relevance:
Connecting lesson or task purpose to students’ personal interests, values and goals. The more teachers draw connections between content, tasks, and skills, and connect with students at a personal level, the more the students will invest in learning in an autonomous way.
Listening to students and responding to questions. This includes active listening, providing feedback, and elaborating on students’ ideas. Feedback: Offering encouragement when students show effort and persistence and recognising mastery, progress and improved understanding based on student-initiated ideas.
Encouraging students’ ownership of ideas, strategies, thinking, and learning. This includes teachers being open to students’ content ideas and accompanying justifications, eliciting students’ thinking, and encouraging a range of explanations.
As students progress to more self-directed and personalised learning, development of their autonomy is crucial to effective learning.
What are your thoughts?