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Students and Teachers: Autonomy in Learning

The biggest challenge for doctoral students is thinking and writing like scholars. If students as much as engage in the process of critical thinking and standard-based writing they better prepare papers in the courses and dissertation. Being aware of the mechanism of writing, such as familiarity with APA format and how to organize and support thoughts and ideas, are the points that novice scholars must sharpen by practice.
Scholars express their thoughts and support them with evidence and proper citation. Public people simply express their ideas and might not support them with evidence.

For example, people may say: teachers claim students’ autonomy in learning in a classroom setting requires their authority in decision-making. In addition, the choice of curriculum, assessment and which class to be taught are selected by principals and school authorities. They control teacher’s activities to achieve expected results. Therefore, to implement autonomous learning in a classroom, authorities should be transferred from principals to teachers in order to make decisions.

Scholars state their thoughts with evidence, based on research, citation, and special discipline. This paper attempts to express the idea of students’ autonomy to learning in a classroom setting requires teachers’ autonomy in decision-making and supports it with evidence and precise words as scholarly work. Autonomous learning enhances students’ capacity in learning and independent actions such as decision-making. Once students allow to become responsible for their own learning, the doors open to greater success for them. For the students who are new in this new concept, it would be difficult to learn independently and move away from the traditional approach.

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Additionally, if it is difficult for students to move from the traditional approach to a new approach, it should be difficult for teachers as well (Gardner & Miller, 1999, p. 12). Therefore, the role of teachers, and how they can implement autonomous learning in their classroom, is significantly important. Through teachers’ training education, the role of teachers is defined and clarified in terms of what differences between a teacher as a producer and as a facilitator are. Teachers acquaint with the strategies that change their role to become a facilitator (Fabela-Cardenas, 2012).

Autonomy in learning in a classroom setting requires a teacher’s creativity in planning, requires spending time for preparing structure, taking responsibility, and practicing. Thus, some teachers might face two challenges. First, taking responsibility for students’ learning is challenging, therefore accepting decisions made by others might be less demanding (Fabela-Cardenas, 2012). Second, in order to be an autonomous-supporter teacher, requires transferring the control of authorities, such as principals or department authorities, to teachers, for example a teacher’s autonomy to decide which class to teach (Yasu, Jeno, and Langdon, 2019).

Teachers might feel it would be easy, secure in their jobs, and less accountable when they follow the decisions made by others. Learner autonomy and teacher autonomy are interdependent; therefore, such teachers have not developed their own autonomy. Teachers’ training that gives them the opportunity to experience learner autonomy in their own training would promote learner autonomy. Autonomy-supportive teachers most likely engender autonomous learning motivation in students. Teachers feel large class sizes, high teaching loads, and selection of curriculum and assessment by authorities affect their quality of teaching and undermine their autonomy (Yasu, Jeno, and Langdon. 2019).

McGrath (2000) suggests that practicing decision-making about curriculum and textbooks needs negotiation and compromise. Moreover, when a teacher presents the curriculum from his/her own unique perspective, it is an exercise of his/her rights to autonomy (Benson, 2000).


In conclusion, this paper attempts to review autonomy in learning from some teachers’ perspectives. As scholarly writing, the purpose is to support the abovementioned idea with evidence, references, and careful selection of wording.


Benson, P. (2000). Autonomy as a learners’ and teachers’ right. In B. Sinclair, I. McGrath, & T. Lamb (Eds.), Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directions (pp. 111-117). Harlow, UK: Longman.

Fabela-CГЎrdenas, M. A. (2012). The impact of teacher training for autonomous learning.В Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(3), 215-236. Retrieved from D., & Miller, L. (1999). Establishing self-access. From theory toВ practice.В Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McGrath, I. (2000) Teacher Autonomy. In B. Sinclair, I. McGrath, & T. Lamb (Eds.), В Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directionsВ (pp. 100-110). Harlow, UK: Longman. Yasu, Jeno, and Langdon. (2019).

“Are autonomously motivated university instructors more autonomy-supportive teachers?” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: journal (13) 2, 14

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Students and Teachers: Autonomy in Learning. (2020, Apr 30). Retrieved from

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