Who has the control?
The teacher still has control in a significant way. The teacher is the one who moves the names along the target map. The teacher is the one who hands out the readings. There are some great systems in place that support transparency, and turning some more control over to the learners would go a long way for increasing agency. Here are some things this teacher might do:
Learners Take On The Responsibility For Getting Materials-
- Set up an area of the room where materials for assignments and tasks are kept, organized and labeled by targets and foundational steps
- Create an SOP for getting materials, and returning them if necessary
- Set up a digital collection of resources and materials organized by targets and foundational steps
- When a learner asks for a material, point to where they can find it (but don’t get it for them)
Learners Take On The Responsibility For Tracking Their Progress
- Create a small map for each learner to keep and mark progress on
- Each learner gets a marker that they are responsible for moving along the big tracking system
- Ask learners to make the argument that they are ready to move on by providing evidence of their learning
- When a learner asks how they did, turn the question back on them and how they know how they are doing with the learning
Of course, teacher personality as well as class culture come into play when deciding which method of turning over control to try. As you think about your classes and learning environments and try to find ways to turn control over to learners remember that what works best for you may not be the same thing that works best for the teacher next door. Also, whenever you try something new, especially around learner agency, be prepared for it to be messy for a while!