Is too much choice making children miserable?

The Quirky Teacher

This blog post was inspired by a recent chat I had with a friend who is part of the home-ed scene. We were talking about behaviour and she mentioned that among the extreme ‘child-led’ faction (yes, there are different factions) where children are given freedom to choose what to learn, what to do and are asked constantly how they feel about something, they are self-centred, badly behaved and miserable. It would seem that all that lovely freedom doesn’t lead to happiness, in fact, quite the opposite. I couldn’t find any academic research on choice and happiness in children, but we are all familiar with what is known as the ‘Paradox of choice‘ and how adults are affected (basically, too much choice makes us miserable); should we also think about how choice might affect little children?

Creating ‘independent learners’ usually features on primary school mission/vision statements and is…

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