What does it mean for students to play an active role in their education?
After reading a couple of articles about the role of a student in the classroom, I found some common threads that were mentioned. Students, first of all, should be ACTIVE participants in their education. By active, this means that students should contribute to classroom discussions by not only answering direct questions posed by the teacher, but answers questions posed by their peers. This again, is not all that the student should do. Students should feel free to ask questions, or express their own ideas about a subject, not only to their teacher, but also their peers. This allow students to construct their own knowledge about their learning, and apply if to their education.
A student’s role is also to be motivated about their learning. This role is also tied to a teacher’s role as well. However, if students are truly interested in learning, it is their job to THINK. When thinking, student’s should be able to find some prior experience or knowledge to apply this new learning to. When doing so, they should mentally prepare themselves to learn more about this new concept or idea. Now, this does nto always happen, but a student who wants to be actively involved in their education, should THINK.
As the teacher’s role is now a facilitator (or should be), the student’s role is to take given information or instructions and coordinate that task for himself or group members, and begin the task. The student must be a task monitor by checking himself/herself in terms of on task study time, noise level, and quality work. He or she should be responsible for gathering materials needed for an assignment, when given directions to where resources can be found. He or she should also put back materials when finished. These are simplistic roles, but roles that I use in my classroom as a cooperative learning teacher. Students take on the roles of coordinators, task master, noise monitor, clean-up/maintenance. While all students take on different main roles, all students are still required to take part in the assignment and learning itself. For example, just because one student is the noise monitor, does not mean his/her sole role is to tell their team to keep an appropriate noise level in the classroom. He/she must also be involved in the task that the coordinator has assigned to him/her, and cooperate with team members to accomplish that task.