Autonomy is the ability to be self-governing, to have independence and the ability to make your own decisions.  A few weeks back, I wrote a post called Happy Teachers, Happy Kids.  In it, I made the case that when we have happy teachers, we can have happy students and part of that formula is to give them back some autonomy in their jobs.  (There is also a video in this post from Daniel Pink about motivation and autonomy which is worth your viewing!)

In today’s classroom, there are many demands put on teachers from the top down as to what to teach, but more constricting is HOW to teach it.  This is not always a good thing.  When teachers are able to make more of the decisions on how to teach something (in a way that is best for his/her students) then the product is most always more successful.

But right now I want to take that a step further.  What about the autonomy we give our students to keep them motivated?

Think about it.  (And when I say that, I’m also talking to myself!)  How much do we demand of our students in a manner that it is taking their autonomy away from their own learning?  In some cases, we may not have a choice and that’s ok.  But when we have the flexibility to give students more choices and control over their learning, we should!

Today I’m keeping it simple.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

What does it mean to give students autonomy in the classroom?

How can we provide opportunities for our students to have more autonomy over their learning?

Please – add your comments here!