The Relationship Between the Teacher and Learner

When it comes to knowledge and learning, the relationship between the teacher and learner should be one that shifts over time.   At the very beginning of the year, you may assume more control over the students and how you want them to learn.  You design activities and lessons aimed at different profiles of students to get the concepts you want across to them.  In those first lessons, you may begin to see more than meets the eye and discover that the group you have is maturing and understanding the material better than you expected.  It is at this point that you may want to shift some of the decision making process of how to learn to students.

Some may be power hungry and want to keep control of the learning process.  But, if your students are mature enough to have discussions and comprehend the material it would benefit them even more to decide how they want to learn.  Of course, if they backslide from being able to handle it the teacher can assume control again.  We want to involve our students more in the learning process and give them some autonomy to make their own decisions.   It does a couple of things.  One, it makes them more responsible for learning the content by the decisions they make.  While you may want to provide some criteria for them on how to base their decisions because some may decide to not do anything.  Two, it establishes some independence for them, something some students feel they don’t have enough of in their education.

Teachers who find themselves to be lenient with the learning process may see more positive results than what they may have found assuming full control.


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