Adult education

Bringing child and youth agency into the classroom

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 01 July 2024, 05:20 SAST
Janice Scheckter photo

So, how can we bring student agency into the classroom? 

Here are 9 practical examples that come directly from relevant research on youth agency:

  1. Provide youth with choice in what they learn and read.

  2. Allow youth to select a comfortable location to learn and read in the classroom.

  3. Encourage youth to set a personally appropriate pace for their work and reading.

  4. Foster non-threatening learning environments.

  5. Guide youth in designing processes and structures for scientific understanding and experimentation.

  6. Encourage youth to share and justify their thinking publicly.

  7. Encourage youth to form their own opinions, pursue their thoughts and ideas, and show support for their peers' thinking.

  8. Formulate discussion questions that invite youth opinion, perspective, and voice.

  9. Identify opportunities within teaching and learning wherein youth share in decision-making responsibility.

With these strategies, we can create classroom environments that enable child and youth agency, engagement, and academic success. Promoting agency in the classroom is a crucial aspect of equipping students with the 21st Century Skills. How will you empower your students to become leaders in the classroom and beyond?

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