What Do Students Most Need To Engage Them During Lessons?

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What Do Students Most Need To Engage Them During Lessons?

January 21, 2014

Your students are the beneficiaries of your knowledge, but how do you know how to communicate information to your students in a way that they will retain information. The problem all educators face is pupils have different ways of learning and it is the job of the teacher to find which methods engage their students the most.

Knowledge is stored in the memory by the process of learning, and psychologists now know our memories work in three stages; short term, long term and working memory. Test show that to transfer information into the long-term memory of a child you have to stimulate their curiosity and engage them in the subject.

One of your responsibilities as an educator is to determine how you can best engage each of your students so that they learn in class and retain the information for the exam. Another problem teacher´s face is identifying which method of learning is best for pupils when you only have them for short periods of time.

Engaging pupils

At the beginning of the term when you get a new classroom full of pupils, how do you know what will motivate them? Generations change, and teaching methods that were successful twenty years ago may not be as effective with a 21st century child who has been exposed to technology since birth. Children these days subsequently have shorter attention spans.

It would make your job a whole lot easier if you knew what engaged your pupils, together with replacing methods that are not proving effective. How do you interest the curiosity of a particular child, do they produce better results when they are allowed to be creative or do they need to follow guidelines?

Studies show that students that are engage in their work are keen to learn, try harder when challenged with something they cannot master and take delight in their accomplishments. As a teacher this is how you know which students are responding and which are not. But it can take time to gather this information.

Student surveys

In order to understand your students you need to know about them, their behavior outside of the classroom, gender, ethnicity, hopes, fears and attitudes – are they positive or negative. You may also want to know about the environment they are in, is it conducive to learning? Are there any other barriers to learning that may be affecting my students’ ability to learn in the classroom.

In order to determine this information you need to know which questions to ask. You need to be able to identify the needs of the students before you can address those needs and be better able to teach them.

To understand your students you need to analyze and evaluate, but to get it right takes time which you do not have. A good student/teacher survey has researched based questions that get straight to the root of the issue and will provide valid and reliable information quickly so you can get your students on track from the beginning.


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