Why is classroom empowerment important? Frymier, Shulman, and Houser assert that it is “the process of creating intrinsic task motivation by providing an environment and tasks which increase one’s sense of self-efficacy and energy. The more impact individuals believe they have, the more internal motivation they should feel, personal involvement and self-efficacy, [as well as] a more positive attitude toward the course content and instructor.” Thomas and Velthouse break it down into four categories: "meaningfulness, competence, impact, and choice".
As children mature they are testing societal boundaries and personal rules of conduct. Modeling by five or more teachers each day helps to some extent, but putting young people in responsible roles that require planning couples emotional control with assertiveness. The students take turns replicating the behavior modeled by their instructors and become facilitators themselves.
Empowering students to have a stake in the delivery and management of content increases the dopaminergic effect, enabling heightened attention and memory enhancement. It also serves to build appreciation for subjects leading to a desire to learn more and facilitate the curriculum in an analytical and creative manner.
They are empowered when they decide which questions or problems to discuss from homework or a worksheet. Deciding on the date of a unit test is useful because you find out what other classes have a test on your proposed day. Ascertaining whether a task should be performed in either a teacher-directed, group format, or a student-directed mode provides further flexibility
Frymier, A. B., Shulman, G. M., and Houser, M. (1996). The development of a learner empowerment measure. Communication Education, 45 (3), 181-199.
Thomas, K., and Velthouse, B. (1990). Cognitive elements of empowerment: An “interpretive” mode of intrinsic task motivation. Academy of Management Review, 15, 666-681