Empowerment is about how students approach learning – motivated, with confident, and ready to tackle the task.
Unfortunately, it is not how many of our students approach learning. Their mindset is more like: how hard it’s going to be, how you aren’t going to like it, worry that you are not smart enough, wonder if there might be some easier way, and wish you didn’t have to undertake such a tough assignment.
Empowered learners have acquired a more generic meaning. As a concept, empowerment is defined as the process of creating intrinsic task motivation by providing an environment and tasks which increase one’s sense of self-efficacy and energy. You can distinguish 4 dimensions of empowerment.
1. Meaningfulness – This describes the value of the task in relation to individual beliefs, ideals, and standards. If the work you need to do doesn’t have much or any meaning to you, doesn’t seem to hold much or any importance, then there isn’t much or any motivation to work hard and produce quality work.
2. Competence – Here’s the confidence piece. Empowerment derives from feeling qualified and capable of performing the work. You can handle what you’re being asked to do.
3. Impact – The more impact you believe you will have, the more motivation you feel to work hard. You are empowered if you believe you’re doing work that makes a difference—work that matters and is important.
4. Choice – This dimension relates to whether you get to determine the task goals and how you will accomplish them. The more choice you have, the more empowered you feel.