Example: Student ownership is the level of investment a learner has in learning, teaching and leadership anywhere throughout the education system.
I went on a trip to San Francisco last week to learn about schools who are actively involved in 21st Century learning and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). These schools, while still working on the common core, take education to the next level by doing more hands on activities and learning. This kind of learning also allows students to take responsibility for themselves, it teaches real life problem solving and how to interact and work in groups, as well as a variety of other things.
As I was touring the schools one common thread kept coming up, ownership.
I was pondering ownership in a variety of different ways.
First, I will apply it to school. Too often students/ parents/teachers place blame on why something isn’t working. They feel the need to justify that they are not the ones causing the concern. They need to shift blame to something that alleviates the responsibility from their shoulders. We have to be very careful in this type of thinking. We need to teach students to take ownership of their learning. I talked to a 7th grade girl who said this, “I am responsible for what I am learning. It is not the teacher’s responsibility if I don’t do my part and work hard to understand what is required of me.” Our society has slowly been changing from taking ownership to blaming educators. It has no longer become about the students behavior but what the teacher is or is not doing. Often, I feel defensive as I try to explain what I am doing in the classroom. I also need to take ownership of why a child is struggling.
Second, I was thinking about life. I have several kiddos who blame me or John for their problems. As I as thinking about ownership, it occurred to me, they are not taking any responsibility for what they did. They are only blaming us for the end result. As a parent I feel like I take on far too much responsibility/ownership of the problems that arise in our family. I analyze and second thought my decisions all of the time. I apologize and try to be better next time. However, that in no way excuses my child’s behavior. In the course of life, we are all going to do things we regret. We are going to make mistakes of all different magnitudes. When do children begin to take ownership for their part in what has happened?
I get so tired of the blaming. There is so much of it going on in the world. It is this persons fault that I______________! Why don’t we recognize more of the good that has gone on and continues to go on? We need to be able to take ownership of our problems and our lives. We are not being inflicted upon. We have control of our lives.
It is way too easy to lay blame than to look at ourselves and make the changes necessary in our lives. I feel like we all do this to some degree. I often look at my childhood and blame my reactions today on things that happened as a child. While yes it is true, earlier experiences have helped to wire my brain in a certain way, I am still responsible for my reactions.
Ownership can be hard.
I am going to start now. I am going to start today in teaching ownership. I am not exactly sure how to do that. (So, if you have any ideas…please share!) I do know, it will start today.
I will no longer allow others to determine what kind of person I am.
I am me.
Mistakes and all.
I will determine who I am and what I do with my life.