Promoting Thinking about our Pedagogy

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As we travel on this Enhanced PYP journey into Student Agency and Self-Efficacy I wanted to share some thoughts. All teachers in PYP school are PYP teachers, so these concepts are important for all to wrestle with. We are all involved in the active journey of question ourselves and developing our personal practice. This is what we do.

This article by Catlin Tucker discusses the mistake of trying to control students and maintain a teacher-centered environment. A student-centered teacher does not view an off task or disengaged student as a student problem, they view such a situation as a teacher problem because they, as a teacher, are not creating an environment that engages the student.

“As a teacher, it’s my job to engage student curiosity, interest and passion in relation to the curriculum. I cannot do that effectively if I place myself at the center of learning and ask students to focus on me. A class designed to engage learners must place the students at the center of the learning happening”.Key takeaways from this article for me were:

  • We, as teachers and as adults hate being managed and controlled. It demotivates us. Our students are exactly the same. Our role is to motivate, not manage.
  • Encourage autonomy and allow students to make key decisions about their learning.
  • Provide positive feedback designed to support instead of control.
  • Put yourself in your students’ shoes and attempt to see things from their point of view.

Page 1 of PYP Principles into Practice: The Learner says when students’ have agency, the relationship between the teacher and students becomes a partnership. We are partners in learning with our students, giving them voice, choice and ownership over their learning, guiding and questioning them when absolutely necessary.


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