How can you become a leader in the world of education? How can you be understood by the current generations of students? How can you lead them into the ever-changing world of grownups? This struggle is real. An educator’s methods have to evolve.
Do you dream about the moment when you see your students happy to get engaged in learning? You want them to be excited for a new lesson every single day? It’s time to shift your approach, so you’ll get the reaction you’re dreaming of.
We’ll suggest a list of fresh techniques that are changing the face of education. Students love them! Plus, these approaches make an educator’s job more fun, too.
1. Collaborative Exploration
When you want the students to understand what they are learning, you need them to explore. Collaborative exploration is a method that takes place in and outside the classroom. When you teach a biology lesson, for example, you ask the students to explore the nature and find examples of what they learned.
Inspire them to collaborate with each other, and join the fun! You can take the exploration on a particular topic to a culmination with an expedition. Take them on a field trip, so you’ll trigger their curiosity with the right questions and hints. Then, the entire class will take part in a collaborative presentation. You’ll present that project to the parents, and the students will be left with the feeling they did something really important.
When the students work together to create great projects, they learn one of the most important lessons they are supposed to get throughout their education: the importance of teamwork.
2. The “I Know How You Feel” Approach
Many educators have forgotten how it was to be a student. Think about it this way: when your students don’t pay attention during class, why are they doing that? Always try to think from their point of view. What would you do if you had to listen to this lecture? How would you like the teacher to improve it? The moment you understand how they perceive your teaching, you’ll become proactive.
When you see them struggling, remind yourself that you’ve been there, too. Then, support them through the struggle and help them find a way out. Show you get it! You understand that studying is hard, but you’re willing to make it easier on them.
3. Help Your Students to Discover Their Voice
We’ve been waiting for this movement for too long. Now, it’s finally the right time for it. Remember how you felt that the educational system was too uniformed? You had to complete specific assignments, study the same lectures as everyone else did, and stay calm in class. You didn’t have the courage to argue with your teacher even when you didn’t agree with their opinions. You don’t want your students to feel the same way.
You want them to discover their own voice. You’ll still have a disciplined classroom, but you’ll motivate them to ask any questions and give any comments during the discussions. You won’t judge the mistakes and you’ll welcome the differences of opinion. That’s how you’re going to change the face of education.
4. Previews for Creating Excitement
This is a brilliant strategy that helps you create anticipation for the curriculum. It’s pretty simple. At the end of each lesson, you’ll mention the most interesting points of the next one. At the beginning of each module, you’ll tell the students what they will learn and how they will use that knowledge.
“This module is going to be great! We’ll learn cool stuff about…”
That’s a great way to get them excited about learning. You’ll have their attention and you’ll convince them that the module won’t be too challenging. It will be motivating.
5. Make Gamification Effective
Game-based learning is getting more popular and more effective than ever. When you found your pedagogical approach on gamification, you’ll make the learning process as interesting as it gets for your students. The game design works on simple principles: facing a problem, solving it through a game, getting immediate feedback, and earning points that take you to higher levels. You can translate that approach to educational content.
For example, in a unit on European history, your students can play different roles in a reconstructed battle. You’ll guide the game through different challenges and you’ll see how well they understand the role. You’ll feature the points of the teams on the whiteboard. Then, you’ll take them to other levels (battles). This is a great way to make them interested in the textbooks. They will want to learn, so they will gain more points in the game.
Educators, superintendents, principals… all figures in the educational process have a huge burden on their shoulders. They have to deal with reduced attention spans and needy students. There’s a good side to this: through the efforts you invest in shifting your methods towards the students’ needs, you’re making changes that matter. Together, we’re developing a better educational system.