There is value in providing students with a voice.
When students are shown that they have a voice, and when that voice is heard and demonstrated to be valued, they're more engaged in their learning, which yields better results.
An engaged learner is an engaged citizen.
When students are introduced to a culture of learning, the different teaching and learning methods they are exposed to will enable them to discover the ways in which they learn best. Given that everyone is different, learning in a way and at a pace that is meaningful to you, the learner, results in more active participation and engagement levels! Collective participation is beneficial to society as a whole and this is visible in project-based learning where students are given the opportunity to be a part of a community-based project.
It’s time to reassess evaluation processes.
We need to take a closer look at how we measure students' success. Perhaps we shouldn’t stop at the teacher alone, and instead pursue the incorporation of an element of self-assessment as well as peer evaluations as a best practice. Additionally, students should be able to formally evaluate their teachers. The 360 Review process creates a more adaptive and responsive learning community, and a more meaningful assessment as it is not merely top down, but participatory.
Youth-led action creates global change.
Young people everywhere are harnessing technology and the power of new media to create a better world; now and for the future. If we can help students recognize their power by teaching critical media-literacy and/or literacy skills from the time they're able to read, we'll guide individuals to make more well-informed opinions and, by extension, better choices. These advantages can come to fruition in many ways – from being an educated voter to displaying an entrepreneurial spirit in the world place.
We all need a mentor!
Every learning experience throughout every subject can be enhanced when undertaken with mentorship. Imagine how we’d strengthen the learning potential if every course provided an introduction to a leading thinker, scientist, artist, politician, etc. and allowed an opportunity for students to dialogue with that person. We need to formally introduce mentorship into the classroom to give students exposure to examples of leadership that would not otherwise be possible or accessible. Mentorship should be provided to educators as well, as teaching is not just about accessing information, but about seeing and understanding how it's applied in different contexts that can be successfully tapped into under the guidance of a mentor.
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pearson Foundation.
Jennifer Corriero is the Executive Director and co-founder of TakingITGlobal (TIG) provider of innovative global education programs that empower youth to understand and act on the world's greatest challenges. Jennifer's experience includes developing and driving youth programs related to technology, collaboration and entrepreneurship, and has designed and delivered an extensive range of interactive learning experiences with the aim of empowering youth as community leaders.
In 2003, Jennifer was a member of the Official Canadian Government Delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society. She has presented and supported civil society engagement at events including the World Urban Forum, International AIDS Conference, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Youth Employment Summit and Global Knowledge Partnership International Forum.
Jennifer has been a youth engagement strategy consultant for a range of organizations including Microsoft, TD Bank, VanCity Credit Union, Ontario Science Centre and the Canadian Government. She has a BA (Liberal Studies) with a focus on 'Business, Communications, Technology and Culture' and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University.