While some teachers opt to take center stage in their classroom and educate through lecture, others prefer to take a backseat role and simply work as a facilitator. By facilitating student learning instead of presenting students with information as is common in the traditional system of education, teachers can encourage their students to take an active role in learning. As reported by NCVER, changing the educational paradigm and forcing students to give up the passive roles that they once took on in the classroom can be highly effective and lead to increased student comprehension.
Present students with questions instead of answers. Trade lectures for open ended questioning. Instead of telling students how something works, encourage them to work together and seek out an explanation for themselves. By finding an explanation instead of just listening to the teacher's versions of events, students are more likely to internalize the information and place it in their long-term memory banks
Create a learning partnership with students. Instead of taking on the standard roles of teacher and subservient students, set up a partnership with your pupils. Make it clear that you are all working together as a class group to discover information and enhance group understanding of content material. Avoid setting yourself up as an expert in a subject, but instead work as a tour guide leading students through the landscape of education.
Provide application opportunities. If students apply information they have learned they are more likely to commit it to memory. Create projects specifically designed to encourage information application. For example, if discussing how to convert units in math, create a task that requires unit conversion to complete. By doing instead of simply seeing, students will more likely retain the content.
Select activities that appeal to an assortment of different learning styles. While some students learn best through orally presented directions and lessons, others require visual stimuli, and still others learn best through movement. Determine your students' learning styles by presenting them with a learning styles inventory. When planning lessons and activities, try to include activities that appeal to as many of the learning styles as possible.
Encourage students to interact while they learn. Learning does not have to be a solitary pursuit. By allowing students to work with each other as they build understanding you increase the likelihood that they remain engaged throughout the lesson and give them the opportunity to benefit from their classmates' knowledge and skills.
- Portrait of a styled children. Theme: education.. image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com