Student freedom in Learning – Key to Boosted Performance

by Ella Wilson
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Many students fail their tests or perform badly despite the best efforts from their teacher. Teachers who complain that their efforts are not paying off are not lying, after all, they provided the perfect guidelines to their students. It is just as stressful for these teachers when students fail to score well even after proper guidance. Funnily enough, guidance is not what students always need.

A class is composed of different types of students. Some learn too fast and some learn to slow. It can become hard for teachers to differentiate between students and customize learning methods to suit each and every one of them. The difficulty becomes tenfold in a large setting where the number of students surpasses hundreds. Personalized learning is a learning model that many teachers have used to overcome the achievement gap in class. in this method, teachers design a customized learning program so that the need of every student is met. But, as mentioned earlier, this can be a little unrealistic in a large class setting.

It may look like a labyrinth but this situation can be tackled when teachers start to go easy on the guidelines and stringent instructions. As absurd as it may sound, student freedom may solve the problem of the achievement gap in a large setting. Experts believe that when students are provided with the freedom to learn they tend to perform better in a test. This technique may work better on a college and university level as students are more mature to understand and choose their own learning style. Here is how students learning freedom main boost productivity and overall class performance;

1- Personalized Learning for all

Fulfilling requirements of every single student is one of the major challenges in a large setting. Teachers have to evaluate student performance personally and then design the appropriate learning style for the student. This is not it, but teachers also have to keep track of student performance and make necessary changes to suit their needs. When students are free to choose their learning method, it positively boosts their learning and saves teachers’ time as well. With correct evaluation, students are also able to make necessary changes that are required if their learning modes or models are not working for their benefit.

2- Confidence Boost

Self-esteem and confidence play an important role in student success. Lack of confidence from the teacher prevents students from taking much-needed risks and trusting their own judgment. When teachers show their trust in students’ abilities,  it has a positive impact on overall student confidence in the classroom. This confidence does not only positively impacts their self-esteem, but also makes them more confident in the classroom. We observed that confident students engage more in classroom discussions and were more interactive.

3- Sense of responsibility

It is a fact that all the efforts from teachers in improving student performance are redundant if students are not responsible enough. No matter how many notes you have prepared to improve performance in your classroom, if students are not willing to pay attention and observe, their poor performance is going to prevail.

Providing students with learning freedom not only boosts their confidence but makes them more responsible. When students know the amount of effort they put into their learning, they naturally become more careful and concerned about the results. With great power comes great responsibility is not a trivial proverb but is a reality. When students have the power to choose their learning styles they do their best to ensure that the outcome is above the par. They become more aware of the consequences and benefits of their actions.

4- Self-Assessment and evaluation

freedom in choosing learning methods is not only beneficial for struggling students but it is just as beneficial for bright students. Many students blame their teachers for their bad grades, especially bright students who make tiny mistakes and end up losing their marks. Students who have enough power over their learning become more self-aware and understand their mistakes in a better way. They know that it is not always the teacher who is responsible for their bad grades and realize the areas that require improvement. This realization results in teacher-student bonding, consequently having a positive impact on overall class performance.

5- Flexible Learning

Learning growth is an extremely important factor in a productive and wholesome class. When growth is hindered or stopped, it directly impacts student mental health and grades. Overall growth is usually limited in a class where the teacher is the ultimate leader and decides the ways of learning. There is nothing new and creative about such classes. On the other hand, when students have enough power and freedom of creativity, it indirectly has a positive impact on class growth. New ways and methods are discovered which results in flexible learning of student and teacher.

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