May 29, 2019
GUIDING THROUGH CHOICE
PART ONE – The Power of Choice
So, as children develop from birth through childhood and adolescence, one of the most important skills that is developed along the way is the skill of choosing. When a child or youth is allowed to choose, they develop neural pathways that, with encouragement and guidance, lead to success in critical thinking and the development of agency. Agency is that sense within a student that they have a cause-and-effect relationship and an impact with the rest of the world.
PART TWO – Acknowledging The Social and Emotional Aspects
One of the most intuitive areas in which to activate student choice comes with learning in the social/emotional arenas. The whole topic of Social/Emotional learning is huge today. The fact is, allowing children and youth to explore choices socially – and then having an adult help in deconstructing the effects – that’s one of the most valuable areas of choice and leads to significant social and emotional development.
PART THREE – Strong Enough To Bend
Creating a program with structures that are both strong and flexible is both a science and an art. We have to start with that magic ingredient of INTENTION. But we also have to cultivate our skill of being PRESENT in the moment – so that we’re attuned both to what we are setting out to accomplish as well as the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of our students.