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Developing school wide student agency in primary schools

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Started by justin hickey 18 Mar 2016 11:22am () Replies (2)

Hi there everybody. I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about student agency and meaningful learning experiences for our students. This has come about as a result of my four year old coming home from pre-school, proud as punch, because she had created a solution to a problem she had. 

My four year old had been bitten by mosquitoes and had found it incredibly difficult not to scratch herself. After finding blood stains on her bed sheets, we tried to stress the importance of not doing it. So as you do, she spent the day at school making a bite scratcher that relieved her scratches without having to scratch herself so that she bled.

She explained to me how she had taken a piece of paper and drawn lines across the bottom of it. She then cut the lines to make something that resembled a large comb. she showed me that by brushing it over her legs it could relieve her itch without making herself bleed. She also made a nicely decorated envelope for it to fit in.

It made me think that if four year olds can do this at pre-school, is there any reason they can't do this at primary school. Im not a new entrant teacher and am not familiar with what goes on in a new entrant class. But I would like to think that our new entrants could continue to explore real life problems they face and look for solutions just as my four year old did and has done for some time.

So, I was wondering if anybody had any literature or research on developing student agency in a primary environment, from new entrants to year 8. If so I would love to have a read it. I would love to see what progressing student agency from a new entrant class through to year eight looks like or can potentially look like in a a primary school.


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