When students have a say in what is going on around them, they begin to develop the sense that their ideas and opinions matter.
At IEYC we encourage children’s sense of agency by welcoming and responding thoughtfully and respectfully to their wonderings, questions and ideas.
By allowing students to have a voice promotes a positive, open and trusting relationship between the students and teachers. By embracing student’s input and encouraging their voice and involvement, we also enrich our work as teachers.
Every day we see teachers promoting student agency. They are collaborating with their students. The teachers are ‘showing our students that their thoughts matter’. They quote the students, they display their words, they ‘listen’ to their thinking. The teachers use the students’ thinking to shape the next steps of learning.
Independence contributes to the development of self-esteem, identity, wellbeing and a sense of belonging. Allowing students to make choices for themselves is an important step towards encouraging independence and agency.
The teachers provide students with opportunities to provoke and develop the confidence to wonder, to explore their world, to ask questions, to express ideas, to create and empower students to make connections.