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Student Agency: Empowering Students to be Agents of their Learning Journeys
“Agency is the capacity to independently guide our actions according to our beliefs. Student agency includes three components:
Self-Awareness: What do I want to learn? Am I effective in reaching my goals?
Voice: Can I articulate my choices? Can I effectively work with others to achieve my educational goals?
Enactment: Can I access support and resources and make my learning happen?
Students must be taught the skills necessary for agency: making and voicing choices, communication and collaboration, planning and enacting their learning. They must be given many opportunities to grapple with the challenges of enacting their learning. Students must contemplate what agency means to them, what their personal skills and challenges are, and why agency is important in their lives. Student Agency increases engagement and motivation in learning. When students have agency over their education, they are able to state their learning goals, work well with others, engage mentors, and make a plan to enact their learning goals. Universities and employers expect agency, people who can imagine and complete a task. Ultimately, students must have agency over their education and their lives. When people have agency, they know they can affect the world in powerful ways. “