Three Ingredients to Help Students Navigate Choices


A growing number of schools and families today believe offering students choices can increase their sense of “ownership” in their learning. I am among them. I’ve seen students come alive when their teacher provides them options for their next project, paper, or capstone assignment. As choices increase, we believe student engagement will also deepen—and it does for the most part.

The downside is now showing up and it requires wise leadership on our part.

When offering choices, we must remember a teen’s brain is still developing. They don’t always make the best decisions for themselves. For example:

  • Jaclyn, a sophomore, was given a choice on her science project, and she chose the one that was the most “fun” for her.
  • Tyler, a freshman, chose a project that was the “easiest” for him.
  • Chase, a freshman, picked the one that he could “finish the fastest.”

It makes sense doesn’t it? Kids are pragmatic—why not get this thing over with and not suffer in the process?

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Thanks, Coach Bill