Every teacher knows that student motivation is one of the core pillars of academic success. And if you are like other educators, you have experienced many days where you just cannot get your students to feel motivated no matter what you do. Thankfully, there are effective ways to turn things around during these times, one of which is by letting your students take ownership of their learning.
Read on as we uncover learning ownership and how it empowers students and boosts their motivation to learn.
Learning Ownership And The Ways To Accomplish It
In essence, learning ownership or student ownership takes place once educators delegate their students the authority, capacity, and responsibility to own their learning. Listed below are some effective ways to motivate students to embrace ownership of their education:
Giving students authority means handing them the power to make decisions. This does not necessarily mean students can suddenly decide what they want to learn based on their interests, but rather that they can determine what they need to do to master the new things they learn in class.
From finding opportunities to apply learning and transfer it into new situations to deciding the frequency and types of practice, there are many ways students can choose to reinforce their learning. As such, teachers should consider giving students the chance to decide how they grow and learn whenever possible.
Ideal educators must provide students with the power or ability to experience and understand something. This entails going beyond imparting the skills and knowledge they need to succeed by also teaching them what these skills are, why they are necessary, and how they will use them in their learning today and in the future. Doing so ensures students can analyze and reflect on their learning progress and overall academic growth.
Making students accountable for their learning does not mean they are solely responsible for driving their instruction but more so that they are part of the plan. In other words, they know the topics and subjects they will learn in class, the methods by which they will learn them, and how they will demonstrate whether they fully understand the material or not. All in all, teachers should give their students the responsibility to be part of their learning plan and be fully aware of their role in it.
For many people, motivation is a finite trait that some children have lots of while others have little. However, this line of thinking is what maintains the status quo. It ignores that motivation can be cultivated and taught among students who can be guided to a better path instead of being left to their own devices.
To put it in another way, while some students may begin to understand schooling, many simply do it and coast through their education because it is expected of them. Overall, most students remain uncertain about owning their learning. Thankfully, fostering student ownership is something that any educator can do. Still, they must first be open to many challenges, the most important of which are giving up some degree of their authority, responsibility, and capacity to their students.
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