Allowing students to work it out for themselves.

This young lady is extremely eloquent and funny, what she has to say really is well put and I have to agree with her, as adults we often forget that sometimes irrational thought and dreams can lead to amazing things.

I agree that often in lessons we become very restrictive in what we allow students to do or say in the lessons. Obviously there does need to be some restrictions otherwise there would be anarchy (although some of my lessons could be considered anarchy from an outside perspective), however I think that we do as teachers need to give the students some more freedom to explore their own ideas and creativity. We need to allow the students to develop their ideas and stop using the phrase “You can’t do that” when they ask “Is it Okay for me to …..?”. Instead we should be answering with “Try it and see if it works”.

So often I find that students in my lessons are afraid to try anything without checking with me first because they are afraid to fail or get it wrong, and I feel partially responsible for this as so often I catch myself telling students how to do something rather then letting them work it out for themselves. On the occasions where I have just let the students get on with the task and work it out for themselves (mostly because I had lost my voice entirely) I saw some very imaginative and unique problems solving skills.

With this in mind I have been trying to create more opportunities for students to be creative and problem solve within my lessons and schemes of work as I feel it is important that they are not only able to regurgitate facts and evaluation points but are able to find their own way through to an answer. In subjects such as mine where there is rarely a right or wrong answer but many different interpretations students often have difficulty with understanding that as long as they can explain themselves their opinion is the correct answer.

I am hoping that with more opportunities to be creative and more tasks where the students determine their own learning paths or final outcomes that they will become more confident in their own abilities and opinions. It will be slow going but I have confidence that the students and I will get there eventually. 

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