Student Agency for Powerful Learning

Dilworth, Marianne

ET

Williams, P. (2017). Student agency for powerful learning. Knowledge Quest, 45(4), 8-15. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1136307.pdf

In his article “Student Agency for Powerful Learning,” Williams defines student agency, and then explores how school librarians are uniquely qualified to nurture this attribute in students. Williams states that students develop agency when they have a strong sense of personal integrity and efficacy. When students demonstrate respect for themselves and others, and feel empowered to act, they are more likely to take responsibility for their learning. Fostering student agency requires a pedagogical power shift away from traditional models of education.

Williams offers some practical suggestions for school librarians to lead the way. These suggestions include encouraging recreational reading, and collaborating with students on library design. To develop student voice, students can create books or artwork that become part of the library’s collection. Having students then cite their own work gives them a sense of ownership and identity as a creator. Williams argues that using these strategies to establish a collaborative, student-centered learning environment will help students ultimately become successful agents of their learning.

I found this article to be an interesting and engaging overview of the concept of student agency. A school community that aspires to build a learning commons, must first have a strong program that builds student agency. I like that Williams makes the clear distinction that encouraging student agency does not mean that he is advocating for an anything goes educational model. Instead, he states that structures and guides must be put into place that allow student creativity and voice to flourish.

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Assessing Creativity

Galang, Johnny

CA

Brookhart, S.M. (2013, February). Assessing Creativity. Educational Leadership 70(5), 28-34. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

This article presents a clear definition of “creativity” and presents ideas for stimulating and assessing creativity. There is a creativity rubric, written with the caveat that the goal is not to grade creativity but rather to help define creative and to promote thinking about concrete strategies for teaching and promoting creativity.

This article present great information in an easily understood format. Furthermore, it includes examples from real classrooms, which helps to envision how this information can be applied.

Projects with Technology Do Good Things

Post by Lora Poser-Brown

ET

Kingston, Sally and Lenz, Bob. “Blending Technology into Project Based Learning.” Partnerships for 21st Century Learning. Jan. 21, 2016. http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21blog/1832-blending-technology-into-project-based-learning

Overview: This article discusses many ways to incorporate projects and technology in regular instruction. In addition, justification is given for more projects with evidence that doing so increases attendance, scores, engagement, social skills, and more.

Analysis: The article was a quick read with great concrete examples for teachers. Furthermore, the ideas given can easily be adapted for different ages and subjects. The article makes project based learning seem less daunting for those new to the teaching style.

TED Talks Education

Karen Rogers

ET
CA
CO

TED. (2013, May 11). TED Talks Education. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from

Summary:  This video has a plethora of educators, Bill Gates, psychologists, and students who talk about educational theory, new ways of looking at curriculum and assessment, and how to improve our teaching.  The speakers talk about the importance of relationships, inquiry, perseverance, how to motivate students, and ways to help teachers improve.

Review:  The video is incredibly empowering and inspiring.  It encourages teachers to change their traditional mindset and take some risks in education.  It talks about the problems faced in education and ways to improve them.  It talks about the importance of building up student confidence and passion for knowledge being even more important than talent.  I think it is something all people in education should watch before starting the school year.