This year I have been doing my own inquiry into letting go of controlling students’ learning.
(By letting go I mean handing over ownership of the learning to the student – where it belongs. I have blogged about this a few times and you can get a sense of my efforts to do so by reading about them here, here, here and here, if you wish.)
A few weeks ago I had another epiphany about letting go. There are many reasons why I have been able to let go but what’s has made it easier to let go THIS year is that I moved into a new year level and so have had no prior ownership of our units of inquiry. Instead, I went on a journey with my students and was open to discovering things along the way. My head wasn’t already full of ideas for where I wanted to lead them and what I wanted them to do, etc. I was free to listen to where they wanted to go and how they wanted to get there. I was not attached to anything and so I followed their lead. This year, I have purposefully made the time and space for their thinking to take form. Because I had very little in the way of preconceived ideas, I have been more open to noticing my student’s thinking and wonderings. I have been getting better at listening very carefully to understand what my students were trying to tell me.
The more I let go, the better I am getting at letting go.
“Letting go” is a 21st century challenge as the multiplicity of materials in some ways prompts us to try to hold on with greater effort, yet this multiplicity of information is the very reason we have to let go, follow student passions, and introduce many guided paths for learning. Thanks for expressing a challenge and some insight to any area teachers are grappling with.
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