Pedagogy and Autonomy: Can They Meet?
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A lot of discussion on the feasibility of learner autonomy within the school context has focussed on psychological, social and institutional constraints which seem to be in conflict with the autonomy concept and its operationalization. Basically, one can argue that the idea of “pedagogy” is in contradiction with the notion of “autonomy”. The purpose of my paper is to challenge this argument by proposing a flexible, context-sensitive approach to learner autonomy against a more radical view, without trivializing the basic concept or the assumptions behind it. I will suggest some principles of a “pedagogy for autonomy” deriving from an interpretative view of school education, and I will discuss their implications on pedagogical roles, learning activities and classroom discourse. Some attention will inevitably be devoted to teacher development as a basic requirement to learner development, within a framework where pedagogy and autonomy can meet.