Independent (versus dependent)
Initiative and autonomy are encouraged and nurtured so students learn self-management. Opportunities for student choice of content, process and product are essential, as are student decision-making, planning, problem-finding and –solving, and solution monitoring. Students work to solve their own problems, including those related to classroom management and student conflicts. As students become more independent, Maker and Schieverstress the importance of teachers’ willingness to respond to student questions regarding the justifications for school rules.
“Teachers must respect students’ rights to have honest, reasoned, calm responses to questions that puzzle or frustrate them. Teachers also must be prepared to say “I don’t know” when asked a question to which they have no answer. Then teachers might stress the interdependence of learners by asking who else has an answer or “What are some ways we could find the answer to your question?”
Students complete the Possibilities for Learning survey of learning preferences. They use the favorite features of content, process, product and learning environment they’ve identified in their survey responses as the basis to design a project at the end of a unit of study. The planning will include specifying the roles of students and teachers in the formative and summative product assessment processes. One or more criteria for self-evaluation will address self-management of the learning process and/or product development.