Authentic Authority: Building Autonomy and Responsibility in a Classroom

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Autonomy and responsibility represent one of the most important elements in child’s developing self-esteem. Both competences can be promoted, improved and further developed through set of various approaches and activities. Autonomy, responsibility and self-esteem are one of the most important developmental tasks in early years of elementary school. Studies show if children successfully complete these developmental tasks, they are happier and more successful in their adulthood.

Autonomy enables children to fulfil school tasks, while responsibility helps children to understand that their behaviour and desisions have consequences. For example, if a child decides not to fulfil a task, she needs to face consequences that are suited for her age. Self-esteem is developed as a result of successfully completed tasks and challenges (as well accepting failure) and feedback that children get on regular basis.

Integrative learning style for teachers represents a platform with clear and recognizable authority, where children are challenged with tasks that are synchronised with their developmental stage and abilities. Using this approach, teacher also reinforce emotional connection with their students. Our children need teachers that demonstrate, how being independent and resilient keeps all of us alive, happier and more self-confident.


This seminar is designed to support teachers and other professionals that work in education using approaches that promote children’s independent work – integrative learning style. Participants will learn how to design learning processes, where children can gain valuable experience by working independently, but also as part of a team. Participants will gain skills, how to establish authority based on connecting emotionally, providing feedback and discipline. Children don’t need teachers that always tell them, how to do something. Children need teachers that design opportunities for exploring, being curious and also self-confident enough to get to the end. Thus, a balancing act between rules and clear authority on one side and freedom and creativity on the other side can be tricky. Participants will learn, how to implement sanctions and provide positive feedback to keep their pupils engaged.

Participants will get better with actively supporting their pupils to:
– develop sense of responsibility
– develop independent decision-making skills
– gradually reduce their dependency
– manage pleasant and unpleasant emotions and develop compassion towards others
– cooperate and make compromises

– Introduction
– Presentation of rules and practical arrangements
– Presentation of structure and content.
– Overview of different educational and learning styles
– Advantages and disadvantages of different learning styles, potential behavioural problems rooted in different learning styles
– Definition of autonomy, responsibility and self-confidence
– Motivational programs: internal and external motivation, internal and external reference
– Learning process: repressive style
– Learning process: permissive style
– Why we need to understand, what children can execute at a certain age: Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development
– In order to learn, we first need to fulfil basic needs: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
– How to balance challenges and individual skills: Csikszentmihaly’s flow
– Learning process: integrative learning style
– Case studies: practice, examples and challenges
– Playing roles: demanding parents, non-cooperating children. In which cases things do not work and what to do?
– Role play: integration of skills and knowledge into integrative style
– Feedback & discussion
– Creation of an action plan
– Summary – a review of the most important skills
– Transfer of knowledge into practice
– Presentation of individual action plans

Course organiser
Primera Courses
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Primera Courses
Primera Courses
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