You will find that by providing the following freedoms in your classroom an improved learning environment will be created.
The Freedom to Make Mistakes
Help your students to approach the acquisition of knowledge with confidence. We all learn through our mistakes. Listen to and observe your students and encourage them to explain or demonstrate why they THINK what they do. Support them whenever they genuinely participate in the learning process. If your class is afraid to make mistakes they will never reach their potential.
The Freedom to Ask Questions
Remember that the questions students ask not only help us to assess where they are, but assist us to evaluate our own ability to foster learning. A student, having made an honest effort, must be encouraged to seek help. (There is no value in each of us re-inventing the wheel!). The strategy we adopt then should depend upon the student and the question but should never make the child feel that the question should never have been asked.
The Freedom to Think for Oneself
Encourage your class to reach their own solutions. Do not stifle thought by providing polished algorithms before allowing each student the opportunity of experiencing the rewarding satisfaction of achieving a solution, unaided. Once, we know that we can achieve, we may also appreciate seeing how others reached the same goal. SET THE CHILDREN FREE TO THINK.
The Freedom to Choose their Own Method of Solution
Allow each student to select his own path and you will be helping her to realize the importance of thinking about the subject rather than trying to remember.
These freedoms help develop students skills and habits of mind.