Sunday, September 25, 2011

Choices for Children: Why and How to Let Students Decide

Kohn, Alfie. (1993, September). Choices for Children: Why and How to let Students Decide. Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved from

Annotation provided by Kali Frederick

Allowing for student choice in the classroom can greatly increase their learning. Students become more invested and engaged in the classroom work if they are permitted to set some of the parameters and learning goals. Kohn explores a multitude of ways to introduce choice into the classroom from letting students set teacher expectations to curriculum to how grades are determined. For successful learning to take place, choices need to be available to the students and teachers need to take this as an opportunity to guide students in the decision making process.

Kohn reflects on the 'burnout' of teachers by suggesting that it is similar to a student in a lecture based classroom, he insists that "deprive them of self-determination and you have likely deprived them of motivation" (p.5). When curriculum is standardized and mandated, teacher and student engagement in the classroom decreases. He cites examples and sources for altering a classroom to include more choice.

1 comment:

Stacey Caillier said...

Cool! This sounds like a great article! I'd love to hear more about his "examples and sources for altering a classroom to include more choice". What was your reaction to these? How does this align with your practice now and where you want to go?

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