TeachingEnglish
Giving students choices

Hi dear bloggers,
I want to talk about building good rapport with the students during classroom management. We face different behaviorial problems in our courses. We have students aged between 10 and 14. Some of them are under the effect of teenage problems. We have classes even with 40  students. Therefore, misbehaviours are inevitable. When we deal with students who misbehave in the class, we can offer them choices. I mean if we order the student just to do what we want, s/he can respond with extreme behaviour. However, if we give him/her two or more choices, the become more eager to compromise. Giving orders spoils the any possible good interaction between the students and the teacher. Letting students choose among the options shows that the teacher values the students and respects their opinions. As a result, they can negotiate on a reasonable solution establishing a good communication. However, we should be careful when we do this in that some students may want to abuse our attitude.  
 
We can follow the same idea when we give homeworks, change the interaction patterns in the classroom and at any stage of the lesson. Some argue that giving students choices can spoil the behavior of the students and students may abuse this. However, I think it makes lessons more fun for the students and gives students a reason for their learning. It is a good way to differentiate instruction, homework, and assessment. 
Here is a nice quote from  Elliot Eisner, who is emeritus professor of Art and Education at the Stanford University School of Education.
“The major aim of schooling is to enable students to become the architects of their own education so that they can invent themselves during the course of their lives.” — Elliot Eisner
Here is an article about this issue:
http://www.edutopia.org/lesson-engagement-student-choice
 

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Comments

solmaz21's picture
solmaz21

It is one of the topics teachers usually underestimate. Providing options and choices mean that we care about students. Students do love having the sense of 'freedom' by this way. Thanks for writing about this topic

suzannem's picture
suzannem

I totally agree. Giving learners choice and therefore enpowering their learning is an useful teaching tactic.

seabiscuit's picture
seabiscuit

Hi Oya,
I also agree with you that students should have choices. I think a teacher who knows about pedagogy and andragogy always gives choices. Because, s/he know the students and their needs and expectations.
Thanks,
Bülent