It's no secret when students are allowed to devise and pursue activities in which they are interested, they naturally generate ideas, hypotheses, and questions. They are ready to learn from their own ideas and we as educators have a responsibility to deliver that. We've outlined some steps for your to take in creating a stimulating environment in which the children lead the learning.
Firstly here are some ideas on how students can be leaders in the teaching environment.
During mornings some of the students can work directly with other children, while others observe, photograph or videotape the activities.
The afternoon can be spent discussing and analyzing the morning experiences, and planning for the children's next session by expanding on learning experiences which seemed to be of interest to the children.
So give the children tasks to start them in taking ownership of their environment:
What can children teach us?
- Marking (with answer sheets the children can mark; homework, class work or peer review each others art)
- Discussing how to progress with other students, they can meet a partner with a similar target and discuss how they're going to achieve it or teach other children how to achieve targets they already have.
- Let the children teach you or a friend anything to boost confidence. For example, let them explain the nine times tables magic trick, something they learned in science, a history topic, how to make something, how to do an activity they enjoy such as roller skating or something they have learned in an extracurricular activity. You may even decide to be a little confused; this will inspire them to think of different ways to explore a topic and clarify what they have been trying to teach you.
EdChat's steps to achieving a child led environment:
By allowing your children to teach you and others, they will understand that we all are continually learning and that it is not just the job of students in an educational setting. You will give your child a sense of pride and self-esteem as they explain, explore and reflect whilst they are expressing themselves and having fun.
- Start to build children's confidence by completing our starting activities above.
- Prepare a series of resources and activity cards explaining the activities.
- Let children take turns in being the leader for different activities, choose activities you think the child will be confident explaining. (You could let the child have a look at the activity before they explain it)
- As time passes select children to deliver different elements of the lesson, if they're familiar with a starter activity or a plenary, have them lead that.
- Encourage peer marking.
- Check out resources developed by Education not Limited, these will allow opportunities for the teacher to step back and the students to lead the learning.
- Share your practice & success in our Teaching Ideas section.
- Your role will be to facilitate the discussion and guide children/students towards how to question their peers, aim to teach them open ended questions, you will find a list of open ended questions on EdChat.
Aschermann, Jennifer Leigh. Children Teaching and Learning. n.d. s.l. s.n.Activity that can be student led: http://edchat.net/resources/a-brief-introduction-to-writing-learn-to-write-today.135/
Children as Teachers (Child-Led Learning)
Sometimes students can be their own best teacher if they just have someone around to listen to the ideas they are coming up with. Of course, schools tend to have very little time for such student reflection and even less time for teachers to just listen.