Teachers' Voices

How Can we Help Children Take Ownership of their Learning?

February 15, 2022 BOLD, Nina Alonso, Natalia Kucirkova Season 1 Episode 14
Teachers' Voices
How Can we Help Children Take Ownership of their Learning?
Show Notes

As adults we take it for granted that we have the ability to choose. But for children, they don’t always have the awareness that they have choices available to them. 

Yet having agency, i.e. making choices based on active engagement in decision making, plays a vital role in developing a child’s self esteem as well as enabling their learning. 

In this episode, we hear from Natalia Kucirkova, Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development about the role of children as independent agents of action. 

“It is really about making sure that children have choices about their own lives, it is what gives life meaning isn’t it. Agency is a fundamental human right, some say supreme human value. I think we have to see both the learning benefits as well as this broader importance of agency.” - Natalia

We next hear from Koen, a strategic advisor for the Belgian organization for education and development, VVOB, based in Vietnam, who shares a story about children taking an experience and turning it into a class production:

“The satisfaction of seeing how the kids collaborated and seeing how proud they were when they realized what they had achieved, it's a very rewarding moment for a teacher to experience something like that.” - Koen

Finally we meet Aline who works as a researcher and university lecturer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She shares a story about how reading experiences with young children can support their agency:

“When we think about agency, it is not that we are free to do whatever we want or that the child can do whatever she wants… we are always dealing with the context around us.”

On today’s podcast:


  • What children's agency means
  • How educators can nurture children's agency
  • The link between children's agency and motivation
  • Why story apps feed children’s imagination
  • How educators can help children make conscious choices

To find out more about today’s guests, and for more episodes featuring other teachers and their stories, visit https://bold.expert/podcasts/bold-podcast-series2