My goal is to have students own their learning — to explore and to take risks. In many ways, our education system as whole has not encouraged them to be courageous learners, replacing this curiosity with compliance.
The other day a student reached out to me with a new plan for sharing their current project in Lights Academy. a personalized learning experience which I lead. This student was tentative, asking permission to explore and experiment.
When I received this request, I had two thoughts. First, I was a little sad that this student felt the need to ask permission to experiment. Clearly there was the concern for doing something “wrong” with the project, hence the need for permission. But then I remembered that at least this student reached out to me and had a plan for being a courageous learner. And I realized that making the move to courageous learning for our students will be a process — not something that automatically happens, but will occur over time if we nurture this student-centered approach.
Take a moment to analyze your classroom. Is it about compliance or courageous learning? Are students asking permission to explore and experiment? Or maybe they don’t even know how to ask. My hope is that all of us in education can empower the learners in our classrooms to be those fearless explorers of understanding, wisdom, and knowledge.