Well – I’m back. It has been far too long since I’ve posted. Now there are many great podcasts out there relating to Australian education.
My aim here is to look at various issues through the lens of Learner Agency in a bid to develop a meaningful sense of what it is.
I was recently listening to a Learning Capacity podcast about the difference between student centered learning and teacher centered learning. Teacher centered was characterised as being along the lines of a Direct Instruction pedagogy and student centered a inquiry or constructionist approach.
This struck me as a typical dichotomy. How would this be viewed through the lens of Learner Agency practice?
Let’s start from the beginning – schools exist to afford learner agency. That is, they exist to give learners the power to inform the trajectory of their lives – to shape their world.
This means schools are structured so that learners can make rules and allocate resources.
So then, is LA teacher or student centered? I would say neither and both and somewhere in between. Learners require prerequisite skills in order to position themselves and navigate the structures they are in, as well as influence its design. Increased agency is a shift in the locus of control from the structure to the agent. It is the transition from being positioned by the structure to positioning oneself and others.