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Peter Johnston + Agency

These words of Peter Johnston’s from his book Choice Words (2004) have been tumbling around in my mind this weekend.  I plan to keep them close as I go about my work this week.

If nothing else, children should leave school with a sense that if they act, and act strategically, they can accomplish their goals (29).

As teachers, then, we try to maximize children’s feelings of agency.  There are really three parts to this:  the belief that the environment can be affected, the belief that one has what it takes to affect it, and the understanding that that is what literacy is about (39).

Developing in children a sense of agency is not an educational frill or some mushy-headed liberal idea.  Children who doubt their competence set low goals and choose easy tasks, and they plan poorly (40).

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

One thought on “Peter Johnston + Agency Leave a comment

  1. Choice Words by Peter Johnston is a book that I keep around and open to any page for grounding inspiration. His piece in Debbie Miller’s Teaching With Intention is also wonderful. Thank you for “opening up” the book for me at pages 29, 39, and 40. I am printing this post out and putting it in my plan book.


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