Who Determines the Destination in Your Classroom?

Earlier,  I came across a quote on this infographic from Eduwells.com. At the top of the graphic it reads, “Whoever drives learning determines the destination.” As a teacher (now coach) who advocates for student-driven learning, I had to step back and reflect on my own experiences. Was I really giving students the opportunity to drive their own learning? Were students determining

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the destination or was I? After about 15 seconds of thinking, it was clear to me that I was missing a few pieces.

Today is my chance at redemption as I try explain my new-found understanding of student-driven learning! We’ll see how it goes…

Learning Goals 

Regardless of who is driving, lessons revolve around learning goals. Generally, as a teacher I would browse my lengthy curriculum map to decide the destination for my students. After that, I would spend several hours designing lessons that were meant to be engaging and purposeful. In every lesson we would go over “our” learning goals, which really were my learning goals, more specifically Indiana’s learning goals. Looking back at the previous school year, I am quickly beginning to realize how little say my students had in determining learning goals. You’re probably thinking, “Brett is trying to get me to ditch my standards and forget the test!” No…not saying that. Is there a way we can have the best of both worlds? Can we have students determine the destination while staying on the road of curriculum? I’d like to think so! I will be going into this topic further into the future, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this format of student-driven learning.

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