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April 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 2

ISSN 1755-9715

The Rights of the Learner, The Rights of the Teacher

We like lists because we don't want to die.

 Umberto Eco

The lists below have been inspired by a wonderful book written by Daniel Pennac, a French novelist, titled ‘The Rights of the Reader’. The book, which is a passionate defence of reading for pleasure, came out in 1992 and has sold over a million copies in France alone.

My own lists, which are not meant to be exhaustive, are not the fruit of my imagination/experience: in fact, many of the items, which do not appear here in any particular order, were suggested by some of the students and fellow teachers I’ve worked with this year.


The Rights of the Learner

  • The right to be taught in ways that are meaningful to them.
  • The right to be offered choices.
  • The right to be praised for the mistakes that they make.
  • The right to be allowed time to tune into the lesson.
  • The right to question what is done in a lesson.
  • The right to be challenged beyond the content.
  • The right to learn in an environment that is psychologically safe.
  • The right to use creativity and self-expression.
  • The right to be assessed fairly.
  • The right to be quiet.
  • The right to skip a lesson!
  • _______________________ add


The Rights of the Teacher

  • The right not to finish a unit from a book.
  • The right to teach creatively.
  • The right to hand it over to the students.
  • The right to teach without a book.
  • The right not to know the answer.
  • The right to think of a lesson as conversation.
  • The right to experiment and take sensible risks.
  • The right to listen to the students and just forget about the lesson plan.
  • The right to pledge resistance and disobedience to methods.
  • The right to teach, not just test.
  • The right to get it wrong.
  • ______________________ add
Tagged  Creativity Group 
  • The Rights of the Learner, The Rights of the Teacher
    Chaz Pugliese, France

  • Alex Wright’s Book Exhibition: A Positive Example of ‘Special Needs’
    Andrew Wright, Hungary