In my school district we adopted the five learning beliefs from Education Reimagined to help drive our district vision: competency-based; personalized, relevant & contextualized; learner agency; socially embedded; open-walled.
In working with these five beliefs, we must (1) have a clear understanding of what they mean, and (2) be equipped with explicit strategies to make them a reality. Otherwise, a vision is not much more than words on paper.
That being said, here’s the Education Reimagined definition of learner agency:
Learning that is characterized by learning agency recognizes learners as active participants in their own learning and engages them in the design of their experiences and the realization of their learning outcomes in ways appropriate for their developmental level. As such, learners have choice and voice in their educational experiences as they progress through competencies. Harnessing his or her own intrinsic motivation to learn, each learner strives to ultimately take full ownership of his or her own learning.
And, reflecting upon my work with inquiry-based learning and project based learning, here are five ways to promote student agency.