A3Writer: Student Autonomy
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Student Autonomy

     In teaching, I've been moving towards policies and methods that focus on student autonomy. It's important for them to feel integrated into the process, and to take ownership of their own education. I remember my own college days fairly well. The struggle was more against myself than the material, and courses that allowed me to take control of how I learned are the ones where I did best.
      I never had courses to the degree of autonomy I'm looking to embrace for my students, but the nature of education has changed over the years. It feels harder to get people engaged, even when I'm trying to teach them what they will need not just to be better writers, but to be better students and employees.
      This movement is not without risks. In order to be successful, students will have to embrace the process, otherwise it will fail miserably. Previously, I had policies that would allow the class to move forward even with minimal participation. Now, if the students remain disengaged, it will be a mad scramble to come up with something that works, and will likely come across as dictatorial, alienating me from the students.
      But I think it's a worthwhile gamble. I'll report back on my results when I have them.

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