Agency in education, and its value to students, parents & teachers

Why ISHCMC-American Academy values agency in learning practices and how it benefits students, their parents and our teachers.


At first glance the principle of ‘agency in education’ might invoke some resistance from the grown ups in the room. As the phrase is sometimes explained ‘as enabling students to take charge of their own learning’, there might be some parents of children currently in 6th grade, who might have some reticence going along with this theory.


However, in more detailed terms, agency actually describes a child’s ability to identify positive goals, the outcomes they want to achieve, and the ability to pursue their goals proactively and effectively. Surely this is the type of learning anyone, no matter their age, would benefit from, including teachers and parents themselves.


Definition of agency:

Agency is when a student takes an active role in their own education, and subsequently the ownership and responsibility for what they learn.


The benefits of an agency focused education are numerous and long lasting, they not only support a child throughout their school years, but they will also empower them to face all aspects of life beyond school.


Benefits of agency in learning for students:

  • Teaches self awareness and allows children to identify their own values and priorities
  • Builds confidence in a student’s own abilities
  • Provides children with the insight to direct learning towards specific goals
  • Prepares students for life after high school


At ISHCMC-AA we have created a positive and structured environment where our students are enabled to develop the suitable skills to become active learners. Via a curriculum and assessment system that encourages decision making, reflection and goal setting, ISHCMC-AA learners are empowered to take ownership of every aspect of their learning.


Collaborative teacher & student agency

Our dedicated and caring team of teachers also believe in the importance of agency and how it can improve their personal teaching standards to benefit our students. This is specifically evident within the success of our formative assessment system. These assessments provide feedback to students on each class taken, and also feedback to teachers to help them understand the effectiveness of their teaching so that they can then adapt the specific learning process as needed. 


Parental agency

The third partner of agency within a child’s learning environment is held by the parent or guardian who can also become a significant factor in the process. When a parent works alongside both teacher and student, communication issues are reduced and their engagement will have a positive impact on their children’s learning. Parental agency is particularly valuable when a student experiences difficulties within a particular subject or task.


Would you like to be more involved with your child’s education?

Please contact ISHCMC-American Academy today via the Parent Information section of our Student & Parent Central or call our Parent Liaison, Ms. Thao Nguyen, at Thao.Nguyen@aavn.edu.vn or via (028) 3898 9098 Ext: 166.