In the fast-paced 21st century, many teaching experts are calling for new educational models. Their goals are to engage students during lessons and foster their ability to think critically and solve problems.
Great teachers know to take many approaches in the classroom. Some students respond best to lectures whereas other students absorb information more readily when they read. Therefore, a variety of strategies should be incorporated into a teacher’s daily plan in order to communicate effectively with children.
The teaching profession is in the process of updating its core skills. The industrial age model that focused on teaching people to follow directions instead of problem solving has ceased to serve people in a world that often demands creative thinking and adaptations to new technology. For example, Elizabeth English Archer, one proponent of modern educational techniques, has suggested that teachers should involve students as much as possible during instruction. This could be achieved with project-driven lessons and hands-on participation that could excite young people about learning.
In such a dynamic classroom environment, a teacher would need to act as a guide and provide ways to connect with students. The following three methods would build upon a teacher’s skills and strengthen the classroom experience.
Careful Use of Technology
Technology in the classroom is about more than simply making sure children know how to use the latest computer tablet. Just because technology drives the modern world does not mean that all learning must take place on a touch screen.
A forward-thinking teacher will know that students need to appreciate technology as a tool and not an end unto itself. There are times when getting out in the field and letting students investigate physical objects with their own hands would be more memorable than watching a video lesson.
Asking critical questions about assumptions teaches children to look at things in new ways. A teacher guiding a lesson in which the students are asked to question something, even if they believe it to be true, could stimulate their minds in many directions. Their engagement should also increase because children naturally want to argue. Picking apart an assumption could delight them because so much of their lives are dictated by rules.
Story boarding provides a visual and large-scale expression of a problem or project. Students could be separated into groups and assigned different areas of the story board. The boards can be built in a variety of ways with whiteboards, large rolls of paper, bulletin boards, and sticky notes. Students map out their ideas, draw designs, discuss information, and make connections.
A teacher can guide the process and make recommendations, but the students should be given the primary role of generating ideas and drawing conclusions. The storyboard helps students to learn about the big picture, and the hands-on nature of the technique allows children to be active and feel like they are contributing.
Although institutional friction often impedes wholesale reforms of educational systems, teachers still possess some flexibility in how they present information and structure lessons. When they use approaches that invite students to feel curious, they increase their chances of helping children obtain the skills they will need to navigate life in a complex world.