User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Today’s Education Should Be About Giving Learners Voice and Choice

with 4 comments

Some of the recurring themes of my conference presentations and blog posts include:

The underlying theme of all of my ideas, of all of my blog posts is about setting up the conditions where learners’ choice and voice flourish.  I have come to believe that the only real education is one that fully embraces learner choice and voice. All instructional practices in this era of learning should revolve around learner choice and voice:

Education works when people have opportunities to find and develop unaccessed or unknown voices and skills. Audre Lorde poignantly describes this “transformation of silence into language and action [as] an act of self-revelation.” Opportunities for flexibility and choice assist learners in finding passion, voice, and revelation through their work. (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-choice-leads-to-voice-joshua-block)

Internet accessibility, technologies that permit the user-generated media, and social media allow for unlimited potential for learner choice and voice.

Learner Choice can be facilitated through:

Learner Voice can be facilitated by:

  • Giving learners an opportunity to use their unique voices to show what they know-what they learned (see UDL’s multiple means of action and expression).
  • Giving learners options to use their voice in a way that works best for them. Some may want to write, some may want to use art, photos, videos, and others may want to talk.
  • Helping learners find authentic audiences with whom they can share their voice.
  • Giving learners a say in how their school and classroom operate – being part of a democratic process.

As John Dewey notes (as is often the case, he says it best):

The essence of the demand for freedom is the need of conditions which will enable an individual to make his own special contribution to a group interest, and to partake of its activities in such ways that social guidance shall be a matter of his own mental attitude, and not a mere authoritative dictation of his acts.

– John Dewey
Democracy and Education

 learnchoice-voice

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

August 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this post with resources, Jackie! I’m passing it on to preservice teachers.

    leannakjohnson

    August 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    • thank you, Leanna

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      August 9, 2015 at 10:33 pm

  2. Hi Jackie,
    I am a secondary school Science teacher in New Zealand and I am studying towards my Masters in Education. You’re blog is wonderful, I have enjoyed reading parts of it.
    I am messaging to ask if I could possibly use one of your infographs for an assignment of mine? If not that is of course fine, I am struggling to find good ones on the growth mindset.

    Many thanks regardless,

    Victoria

    victoriamacann

    August 16, 2015 at 4:50 am

    • All my work is creative commons – share with attribution, so do for it!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      August 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm


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