Why we let our pupils create their own classrooms

To give children a lesson in how to learn, one school invited its primary pupils to redesign their own classrooms on the first day of term. Despite some chaotic scenes, students gained ownership of their learning space and developed valuable collaborative skills, explains Carole Parker

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Children arriving at school on the first day of term do not usually expect to find bare walls and unorganised classrooms. But that is exactly what greeted them at our school, an international school in Thailand – not because their teachers had neglected to prepare but because the school wanted to give them a practical lesson in metacognition.

Metacognition is increasingly recognised by educators as one of the most effective pedagogies in a teacher’s arsenal. According to Bransford, Brown and Cocking, “Metacognitive practices increase students’ abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to ...

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