Students need to have a choice

Today I had the opportunity to listen to Katherine Stannett’s  talk about making an impact and how to teach students to be global explorers. She pointed out that students in the 21st century have limitless access to information and therefore need teachers to guide and advise them to find the relevant one.  As she works for National Geographic Learning, she provided two very interesting topics in form of photos and short videos: One was about returning pandas (born in captivity) back to the wild and the other one about a young man who tries to remove rubbish from oceans. I found her concept of the four “Cs” very interesting and convincing. It stands for Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity, which should be the basis for activities.

When for example a photo is shown to students, they should not only question the obvious content but also reflect critically about it. Additionally, they should come up with predictions what the content is about. While working with a partner or in a group, the students have to communicate with their peers and also show their creativity.

A crucial point was that Katherine emphasized that students should have the possibility to choose from offered activities, as they often feel being overruled or having no voice. By letting them decide they feel respected and can relate to the required activity. Students need to be taken seriously! I believe teachers do their best to give students a voice and help them to become critical thinking persons.


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