If children are to succeed and progress at school, schools and teachers need to understand how children experience the classroom. What do they think? How does school make them feel? This book brings together the author’s work on children’s classroom experiences in a variety of contexts. The author uses student voice to show what children think of classrooms, tasks, tests and exams, and how this impacts their experience of schooling. Can the classroom experience be transformative for children’s life chances, or is it a trap? Schools and teachers need to take account of student perspectives in the primary school to make it the best experience possible.
Chapter 3: Autonomy in the Classroom
Autonomy in the Classroom
‘Dave: If I ask for help, I need help, but most of the time I come up with stuff on my own.
EH: Yes. So how does that make you feel when she [the teacher] does it for you?
Dave: I’m not sure. Probably – I’m not sure what it’s called, but someone has the idea, and you just write it down for them – it’s weird.
EH: You end up feeling like a —? [Long pause]
Dave: Yeah, because they have to deliver letters. (Dave, year 5)’
Chapter 3 explores pupils’ descriptions of feeling autonomous and how these experiences relate to classroom learning conceived as knowledge-construction and critical meaning-making. That means, the chapter investigates whether or how pupils come ...