Simmons and Page – Motivating Students through Power and Choice

Simmons, Amber M., and Melissa Page. “Motivating Students through Power and Choice.” English Journal. 100.1 (2010): 65-69. Print.

In this article, Simmons and Page share how they utilized critical pedagogy practices in a high schoool English class. The two were interested in finding ways to motivate and empower their students. Using Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as a text, Simmons and Page worked with their students to define the terms of the class project. Drawing on Ira Shor’s critical pedagogy methods, the instructors co-created the grading system with the students. They used the students’ language in the rubric, and developed an end of project survey based on Shor’s design to determine generative themes for future work.

Simmons and Page concluded that sharing curricular power with students served to motivate students to produce quality work and use power responsibly (69). They stated additional benefits:

By using these methods in the classroom, teachers can motivate their students to become active participants in their own education instead of bystanders waiting to be told what to do, when to do it, and how it should be done. (69)

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