Donald Graves has said, “It is the learners’ perception of who they are and what they can do that has the greatest effect on what they can learn.” This is at the forefront of my mind as I make decisions in the classroom. Everyone has a movie playing in their mind; a movie that tells us who we are, what we are capable of, and what we will do each day. Teachers help students to ‘write’ scripts that put them in the position of power and control over their learning. One way that we can support students’ “perception of who they are and what they can do” is to build environments that cultivate and nurture independent learning.
A classroom environment where students are engaging in inquiry, setting goals for themselves, and reflecting on the choices they are making empowers students to be in control of their learning.