Five Ways to Empower Students is a great article that provides some ideas on ways to motivate, engage and empower your students.
Here are the five ways the author of the article mentions and my thoughts on each of them:
1. Give your students a voice through forums for student feedback
2. Give students decision-making power in an area of curriculum
In classes I have taken and through out internship there has been emphasis placed on having students involved choosing what they learn. Students can share with you their funds of knowledge – knowledge that they bring with them to school from their lives and experiences, their interests and what they want to learn about. Within the curriculum guides, there is room within a topic area for students to perhaps choose a novel for example. Even having students lead discussions and encouraging them to ask many questions and find answers is a great idea. This all shows students that they are involved in what they learn, and that not everything has to come from the teacher.
3. Put yourself in the sandbox – work with your students
Learn with your students. It`s okay to say that sometimes you don`t know all of the answers to questions students have. We as teachers are learners too – as we are not masters on every topic we teach. Shared examples of assignments and having your students teach you and the class are great ideas as well. Encouraging collaboration with your students in their learning can be a rewarding for both you and them.
4. Encourage meaningful technology use in the classroom
There are so many tools technology can provide that enhances learning. Now with some many different devices and internet access – you have access to a world opportunities. Chats, collaboration with others and communication can happen any time. There are now many different options for assessments in terms of assignments you can give students. Lessons can be enhanced through images, presentations, videos, interactive demonstrations, feedback and more. Students can now express their understanding and creativity through many mediums other than simply using a pen and piece of paper.
5. Involve students in “real” issues
Topics you are teaching to your students need to be relative to them, and interest them as well. They need to develop skills that they can use everyday and in their lives outside of the classroom as well. Students can benefit from hands on learning and working with others. There are many opportunities to engage students in service learning and social justice – through projects, volunteering, leadership and being a role model are just a few examples. Students can also share what they are learning with others and can educate them as well.
Allowing students to express themselves and empowering them can lead to self-motivation and engagement which gets students excited about learning.
Do you have any other suggestions of ways to empower students?