We have different curricula to provide framework of WHAT needs to be taught, but you still have to decide HOWto do it! Ignite your students’ intrinsic learning. Help students to enjoy learning instead of just enduring it! This book was born from my experiences of exporting my Finnish teaching degree to a new continent.
The next transformation in education is already on our doorstep. There is evidence of small changes in classrooms all over the world slowly rising to represent a paradigm shift in mainstream education. This is a shift from the old theories of education – rote memorization led by an authoritarian force – to a more collaborative environment where students are empowered to become lifelong learners and encouraged to be responsible for their own learning.
There is also a growing global understanding about the importance of this empowerment:
“For those who have successful experience of education, and who see themselves as capable learners, continuing learning is an enriching experience, which increases their sense of control over their own lives.” (OECD, 1997b, p.1)
What’s the best way of changing the way we approach teaching and learning for students? Being informed and empowered by the very people who work hands-on with it in their profession – teachers. Empowerment is an underlying principle in all real learning. For a teacher, it means helping students either master the subject so well that they will not need a teacher anymore, or to become self-sufficient so that they know where to find more information if they need to learn more. For a student, it means being accountable for your own learning, being encouraged to learn more, and also taking responsibility for your choices.
Student empowerment is, in principle, actually the same as in raising children: teaching students how to connect pieces of information to give that information context, and helping them to make good choices so that they can successfully meet challenges in life.