Book Review: Learning by Choice

The book by A.J. Juliani titled “Learning by Choice” is a step by step practical guide of how to take choice and apply it within any classroom. Each chapter outlines with personal experience, step by step guide in implementation and then practical examples of how it can be used. Best of all this book is free if you are a Kindle unlimited subscriber.

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“Student engagement predicts success better than any other metric in the classroom”.

 

The chapters are outlined as follow

  • Choice in What we Learn (Chapter 1)
  • Choice in How we Learn (Chapter 2)
  • Choice in Assessment (Chapter 3)
  • Choice in Differentiation (Chapter 4)
  • Choice in Communication and Relationships (Chapter 5)
  • Choice in Page and Order (Chapter 6)
  • Choice in Technology (Chapter 7)
  • Choice in Story and Presentation (Chapter 8)
  • Choice in Purpose (Chapter 9)
  • What to Do when Students Struggle with Choice (Chapter 10)

“We are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge. But, we are experts at how to learn”.

The author does a really good job of trying to give examples and factors that would help create a realignment from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic. There is practical advice and easy to use project ideas in every chapter. The reflection piece available is refreshing and personable.  What is refreshing about this book is that he does not always use technology, and gives many ways to provide choice in different ways.

Juliani challenges teachers to take action and start implementing choice in their classrooms. It is important to teach kids to be problem solvers and not marathon runners. We need to prepare our students for the future and not to be compliant. Redefinition of projects is essential too- do not use something just to check a box- think about the SAMR model and how it can be used better or for what purpose it is used.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.

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