‘Student Agency’ Is Not Something You Give or Take

Andrew Rikard, Junior at Davidson College in North Carolina:

When educators say that I am an equal, even when I clearly am not intellectually, everything changes ... I feel both a sharp fear and an intense freedom. Suddenly, my voice is valuable ... my thoughts can change the mind of the other collaborators. This is empowering. It is the exclamation that we all are learning together.

Owning It

I’ve long been obsessed with the idea of personal ownership. For me, the degree to which I achieve my goals is closely tied to the degree to which I own every step of the path toward achieving them. The more ownership I take, the more likely I am to see my desired outcomes.

I find this to be true for collaborative work I am involved in as well. The success of my team is dependent upon each individual’s capacity to own both the steps they have been delegated, and the steps that have been delegated to others. Without such collective ownership, the goals of the group are less likely to be acheived.

Owning the work of others is to support them in the completion of their tasks. Sometimes this looks like staying out of their way. Other times, this looks like providing a helping hand.

Owning it requires doing whatever it takes until the goal is achieved.