A student is any person who is following a course of study in a school or learning institution. It is that person who makes a thorough study of a certain subject. A student is also described as that person who has gained some recognized mastery of one or more disciplines. The word, ‘student’ is derived from a Latin word studere which means to direct. It is a reference for any individual that is enrolled in a programme of study which is covered by the regulations of that institution or the individual module of any of those programmes of study on offer. There are several definitions for this term. Basically though, a student is any person who is engaged in study and is devoted to learning. It is a learner, pupil or scholar and especially one who is attending school or searches for knowledge from professional tutors or books. It could be a student of a college, an academy, university or other recognized learning institution.
I am a student and have been one for the better part of my life. The experience has taught me that there are roles which I am expected to perform as a student. They are not just roles of specific students. Every student has a role to play either at the institution of learning, on an individual level or in society.
Role of a student
Davis and Murrell in Turning teaching into learning: The role of student responsibility in the collegiate experience say that research has recently emphasized the need for students to be actively involved in the academic learning and co-curricular activities. These are core elements in encouraging positive outcomes in learning institutions. Colleges have often struggled to offer many opportunities. However, there lacks a determination by students to take some responsibility in their learning. The colleges therefore have a duty to ensure that all students feel welcome and participate fully in all areas of learning and other activities. Of importance is creation of a culture which promotes responsibility and commitment by students. Students have the ability to contribute to their learning and growth.
Schools are learning institutions. Any individual enrolled in a learning institution has a right to the privileges that come with membership of that particular institution. Colleges set a standard for students. Students too are expected to set a standard for themselves. In all institutions, time and effort are very important factor to consider. There are sales that define the aspect of responsibility in students. The sphere of student responsibility includes the classroom, the halls of residence, libraries, sporting facilities, student organizations, laboratories among other areas. On the other hand there is the domain of social life where students are gauged on their involvement in faculty, interaction with other students, clubs, and associations (Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski & Rasmussen 34).
Busy learners take responsibility over their learning. A student should be able to regulate themselves and define the goals for their education. In addition, they should be able to evaluate the achievements they have made in the course of their education. Learning should energize them so that the fulfillment they find in learning something new drives them to a passion for finding answers to problems in life, understanding life and taking a step in their thinking (Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski & Rasmussen 34). Such a learner is strategic and is able to transfer his or her acquired knowledge to solve issues in a creative way. The learners who take charge of their education value and possess skills that enable them to work with other students.
Students who are interested in engaged learning have a role to pay in choosing tasks which are taxing, real and multidisciplinary. The tasks that qualify for this description are complex and hence involve a lot of time. Being real refers to their correspondence with tasks at home and in the job market. Students should collaborate with peers, family, mentors and the world. The task a student chooses requires some incorporation with learning that is applicable in solving problems (Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski & Rasmussen 34).
A student also plays a role in the assessment of their progress. While the tutor presents tasks and observes and examines students’ presentations, students generate their individual criteria for performance. They play a major role in design, reporting and evaluation of their assessment.
Jones and others (38) add that a student has a responsibility in constructing and producing knowledge in significant ways. A responsible student teaches other students in an interactive manner and also interacts with teachers generatively. The aim is co-construction of the learnt behavior and knowledge. It is upon students to explore various perspectives and techniques that will aid them in building on that which they have learnt.
A student carries the responsibility of making the classroom a learning community. A learning community should create an empathetic environment of learning which values diversity and numerous points of view. The classroom looks for approaches to develop the strengths of all students. A learning community that is collaborative encourages students to seek knowledge by asking questions, defining problems, leading discussions, setting learning goals and engaging in industrial behavior (Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski & Rasmussen 34).
The main role which is played by a student is the role of explorer. By interacting with the people, both in the learning institution and outside, and the physical world exposes a student and allows them to find out new concepts as well as apply the skills they have learnt in practical situations. Teachers encourage students to think about the things they have discovered which is important for a learner. Learning is possible only when a student can apply new knowledge in problem-solving. A student also plays the role of a teacher by integrating new knowledge. They therefore end up playing another role; that of producers of knowledge. This enables them to make considerable contributions to existing knowledge.
Jones, B., Valdez, G., Nowakowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. Designing Learning and Technology for Educational Reform. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1994.