How to increase your students performance
Discover how to empower your students by embracing the new-age thinking teaching paradigm.
The educational system all over the world faced tremendous challenges in the last year with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus: Embracing the new shift to online teaching, adapting the teaching methods to the new circumstances, enabling or maintaining access to education to marginalized groups, just to name few. We noticed the effects of these circumstances in our work in Cambodia and also in our offices in Germany and Australia. Teachers and trainers were suddenly challenged to create new student engagement opportunities and empower them in their learning process with new methods. Based on our experience, we want to share how to reengage the students on- and offline.
Embrace the student-centered thinking
Each human being has its own social and cultural background that educators need to consider in a learning process. The old systems such as learning by heart, sitting in a classroom, listening, and taking notes don’t work anymore. Well, they do, but only for a little percentage of students. Others prefer to learn by experimenting or are more of a visual learning type. In a student-centered teaching approach, the change begins with the teacher. It is essential to know the VARK-Model and actively use it in the lesson’s preparation. VARK stands for four different learning styles - visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic - identified in a study conducted by Neil D. Fleming and Coleen in 1992.
For example, in our Humanitarian Power Hour workshop in German schools, we put the student in the center of the happening. Students apply their individual frames to discuss world issues such as modern slavery, human trafficking, and child exploitation. With the mentoring of an experienced humanitarian worker and teacher, we give the space for each student to engage with the topic, build an awareness of the problem and develop possibilities to get active and fight the problem locally united. There is a big difference between teaching your students about a topic and eliciting the answers and reactions. Teachers being able to evoke a reaction from their students, engage. Once you start raising topic-related questions and ask your students for their opinion and input, you will create incredible dynamics. Involve interactive methods and target your students according to their learning types to be a part of the new educational paradigm.
Meet the Zeitgeist of your class
Using interactive methods is fun. Before doing so, get to know what your students are interested in, truly interested in. What are their hobbies? Who are their idols? What movies are they watching? What music are they listening to? What moves them in their lives? Use this knowledge in your lessons. Maybe your students are totally into TED talks. Find a TED talk on a topic you need to go through in the lesson, let them watch it, prepare some questions and watch the discussions arise like mushrooms in a forest after a rainy day. This method is also used successfully in adult education and is specifically successful in foreign language lessons.
Make use of new technologies
Many schools effectively adapted the new technologies in their educational program, but many are still lagging. The current COVID-19 outbreak showed the entire world that the future is shifting towards online, faster than we could have thought. Many NGOs, governmental bodies, schools, public institutions, and companies had to change their entire operations from offline to online. The results were stunning and the real heroes proved to be the teachers. Taking the entire teaching process online was challenging, we won’t deny that. We took our HATW ITTSR teacher training program online and trust us, it is still a work in progress. So, since there are no better alternatives than online teaching, why fighting it? Become friends with the new technologies and use their full potential. The time invested in learning the new skills is an investment in the future. But if you feel overwhelmed, you can outsource this part to others. Research your local possibilities. The help can be closer than you think.
We know it is a lot of work to prepare a lesson, and sometimes even more to engage the students. The first time you will be trying out these ideas might be weird and uncomfortable. But once you get out of your comfort zone and start implementing the tips, it will become your routine.
If you are interested in our free HPH workshop in your school or have any other questions or comments, contact us by email (email@example.com).