6 C's - One of the best active learning strategies
Teachers are the people who are known to have a great influence on the lives of students. It is by observing the teacherâ€™s mannerisms that the student gets to actively learn the basics of his life. Even many children take teachers as their mentors and they simply ignore the suggestions from parents and say that they will practice things in the way, their teachers have taught them. One of the simplest examples is the pronunciation, in which students tend to adapt the same as their instructors do, or in a way, they try to copy their teacherâ€™s style. Here the power of the studentâ€™s observation comes into play, which is considered to be highly vigilant, especially in the growing years of age.
Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that teachers hold a strong control over the lives of children. In fact, they have the power to shape the career of a child, now whether they do it positively or negatively, it entirely depends on the methodologies they adopt. Therefore, it is always said that teachers need to maintain an optimistic attitude in the class so that children do not draw anything negative from the teacher. Also, the body language of the teacher in the class is another factor that contributes majorly towards the reception of positivity by the students, which has been well explained in the article 7 techniques to hone teaching skills with powerful body language in 7 days!
Moreover, teachers are the beings, who embark on the creative journey in the life of a student. They are accountable for sustaining the creative skills of the students. However, the present education system does not guarantee the nourishment of the creative skills of a child, rather it works perfectly to suppress the ability of the students to actively learn. It makes them work in the traditional direction of the factory model of education, which is directed towards killing the creativity of the children.
The education system on a whole requires a big change, which is already being talked about in our previous article- 8 contemporary steps to prevent schools from Killing creativity! But, this article is going to talk about the changes that the teachers need to adapt to their teaching practices to make students more attentive and responsive in the class.
5 teaching purposes to be reframed
Before moving ahead with the effective techniques of teaching, there is a need to bring a change in the goal with which the teachers enter the class. They are required to restructure their mind with few absolute purposes of teaching, which are mentioned descriptively in the following points:
An integrated approach
First of all, the approach and the purpose needs to take a shift. The purpose of teaching should be to make students more creative and active towards the class, rather than just disseminating the lecture and walking away. This can be practiced by examining the thinking abilities of all the students in the class and not just concentrating on a few brilliant ones. The teacher needs to see that students of all caliber are able to catch his range of lesson delivery and in accordance with the requirements, he must alter his style of teaching.
His motive should be clear and crisp, which is to penetrate the information deep into the minds of the students. Also, the aim should not merely be to explain the topic but to make each student get attached to the soul of the topic.
This comes with gaining proficiency in teaching skills. An experienced teacher will surely support the thought that teaching is an art and the more beautifully, this art is practiced, more appreciable, and overwhelming the results are. To produce such majestic results, a teacher has to practice teaching from his heart. His purpose of teaching should be to inspire students and bring a positive change in them. It should further aim at changing the children for good and making them understand the requirements of the subject and how well they fit into those requirements. They need to get aware of the intricacies of the subject and evaluate its importance in the fulfillment of their ultimate career goal.
Make them more creative
The third and most important purpose of teaching is to work upon the divergent thinking skills of the students, to keep their creative abilities alive. This is actually the corrective step to obtain the right purpose of teaching for the instructors of today, as most of them are following a very different trend of teaching. The patterns followed in the present are actually submerging the creative skills of students under the highly pressurized curriculums of schools and colleges. They are directing students to follow the sheep herd of job attainment, where individuality in terms of talent identification and its evaluation stands nowhere in the upward movement of their career ladder.
So, keeping this traditional practice aside, the teacher needs to adopt some revolutionary steps and give first place to the imaginative competence of students.
Catch their attention
Discussing further, the prime task of a teacher is to catch the attentiveness of the students. If the students are not mentally present in the class, then their physical presence would yield no results for their future. To take fruitful lessons from the teacher, the students need to be well- active in class. Again, this depends on the ideology, the teacher comes in the class with. For sure, a lot depends on the motive of the students but the teacherâ€™s prominence and subjection play a critical role in catching the attention of the class. Therefore, the teacher should adopt techniques to develop the interest of the students in the class, so that all students benefit from the knowledge imparted.
Students are the focus of attention, not the teachers!
Last but not least, the teacher has to make sure that his teaching is focused on giving information to the students not just delivering the mere words of the lecture. He has to ascertain that the focus of the class is the students, not him, himself. This is one purpose that can bring visual changes in the teaching style if the teachers give more importance to the students and they themselves take a back seat. More explanation of how can this be practiced is mentioned in the following section of the article.
6Câ€™s to help students actively learn!
Now comes the ways, inculcating which in the classroom, can help teachers attain all the above-mentioned purposes and inspire students to sharpen their learning skills. These techniques can also be defined as the 6 steps of accomplishing a bilateral learning environment. By following the below-mentioned steps, a teacher can definitely kick start a revolutionary movement in the class and can motivate his children to adopt a progressive approach in their career. However, the prior discussed purposes must be kept in mind before implementing the following steps to authentic teaching.
Connection with the students
First and the most important step is to form a connection with the students. This alliance would act as a base, where the teachers and the students both would be able to communicate with each other easily. This can work wonders in reducing the communication gap between the two and there can be an easy exchange of ideas and preferences. Moreover, if a student is not afraid of putting his point at forth, then his creativity is sure to flourish in such an inspiring environment.
This will also result in reducing the complexities of the subject as the student would be able to speak up his mind and express his concerns on the subject voluntarily. It even further creates an amiable environment for the teacher also and drives his spirit to extend his efforts, for educating in a better way with reformed knowledge.
Most importantly, this step has to be initiated by the teacher himself. An instructor is the one, who needs to transform his social behavior and body language to a friendly tone. The accomplishment of this step is only possible if the teacher brings a change in his attitude and is ready to work in the direction of evolution.
Choice of learning- giving ways to learn from!
Once the students and teacher reach a stage, where they can exchange their thoughts graciously, then it is again the turn of the teacher to give choices to the students. These options are the different methods of learning, which each student can adopt. So, depending on personal abilities and interests, students can choose their respective learning methods. For example, in a science class, some like to learn by practical method, some want to watch the video on I pad and understand, some want to discuss among themselves and understand from their mates, while some want to initiate a group discussion with the teacher.
A crucial point to note here is, that the choices should also be based on the studentâ€™s preferences and the varied ways which seem convenient to them for understanding and adapting.
Cultivation of Creativity
By giving them the freedom of selecting the learning method, a teacher is able to develop a sense of responsibility among the students. The creative skills of the children come into play here, when they have to think and evaluate, as to which method would help them learn in the best possible way. Also, while learning and throughout the whole process, their mind is running at its creative best in relating and connecting it with things around.
Moreover, when a student is given the power to think and choose, it acts as one of the most important steps to let him reform his own set of ideologies. This power is a great tool to inspire him to activate his creative being and involve himself in the task with full interest.
Collective effort- team work
The above-discussed process divides a traditional classroom into various groups of learning. These groups, however, adapt different methodologies, but work towards the same topic in concern. This procedure of conception is a result of the group effort, that they together put in.
So, by allowing them to work in small groups and converse with each other, the teacher is actually nourishing them with the values of team effort. This even flourishes their ability to brainstorm an idea and give life to the thoughts of their minds.
The quality of team work is a gift for life as the students get to use it at every stage of college and professional life.
Conceptualization and presentation
Once the topic is done and the students are through with the learning process, then they should be given a chance to present the same to the class. This can be done in the form of a play, skit, presentation, song or even a poem. The verses developed here, are actually believed to stay with the student for life long. This not only hones their creative skills but also takes away their fear of speaking in public.The teacher must make sure that each and every student of the respective group takes part in the presentation. Even if a student thinks, he is not a good orator, then also he should be motivated to speak and exhibit his part of speech. This is very important to make the student realize that he is an inseparable part of the classroom.
Conversation among the pupils
Now, comes the last but the most important step of the activity, that is the discussion of the presentation. Here again, the students should be given the chance to voice their opinion and suggestions. It can take the form of group discussion, where the entire class takes part and talks about the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation. Also, the teacher here, can take the seat of a moderator and ensure that the conversation goes on smoothly.
Additionally, the instructor can give direction to the discussion, if it loses its course anyhow. The group discussions are also established ways to fortify the relations of the students within the class. With these efforts, the students tend to understand their needs better and are able to identify the flaws within their learning skills, which when corrected, prove highly beneficial for the future of the students.
Furthermore, it should be kept in mind, that during all the above-mentioned steps, the teacher has to keep a close watch on the activities of the students. He needs to act as an observer to the entire session of learning and must intervene when his expertise is required. Also, the teacherâ€™s connection with the students helps him to judge the level of understanding at which a particular student stands and how he can help the student to resolve the barrier.
The practice of these 6 bilateral steps of learning is meant to polish the skills of students in each and every field possible. Along with the development of thinking abilities and the inclusion of divergent thinking in their daily practice, the students become more confident and determined towards their goal of life. Also, by getting empowered with the freedom to express, their creative reach gets redefined with each passing day.
Frequently asked questions
- What are active learning strategies?
Active learning strategies are used to engage students in learning with the help of different activities such as reading, writing, group discussions and problem solving. All these activities enhance the studentsâ€™ involvement in the classroom which increases their engagement in learning.
- What are examples of active learning?
Group Discussions, Case Studies, Role Play and Peer review are some examples of active learning.
- Why are active learning strategies important?
Active learning strategies enhance the studentsâ€™ involvement in the class. As a result, they become absolutely engaged in learning and their academic performance witnesses a significant boost. Thus, active learning strategies play an important role in education.