Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Make Them Want to Know More

“… we should always be striving to unleash the natural curiosity and wonder in every learner.”

I think as an educator, I need to make my students want to know more about a topic. I know that I push out information to them and hope that they are like little sponges and can absorb what I teach them but that is not enough.

It is important for me to give an introduction to a lesson that they will want to know more and therefore be engaged in the lesson. If I find the lesson boring, then they probably will too. I try to think about what I can do at the beginning to make them excited about learning some new information. How can I connect what they already know to something that they do not know but eventually will?

Once I get past the introduction, I need to find a way to push out the information in a way that the students will stay focused and engaged. I can’t tell you how many seminars I have gone to where it was so boring that the presenter lost me halfway through the presentation. Why would I not think that my students feel the same way? I want to use activities that involve physical movement, interactions with others, and manipulatives. Many students remember information better this way than just using their ears and eyes during a lecture. I still remember lessons in school when I was a young student because they involved activities where I made something.

But I shouldn’t stop there. Once I finish teaching my lesson, I need to think beyond the lesson. Help students come up with questions for future investigation. Where can they go from this learning to new learning? Maybe I can help them with more lessons or I can help them learn how to find the information themselves. I need to help my students figure out how to come up with questions for more information that I might not have covered. I need to ask my students what new topics that is a spin-off from the lesson that I taught? Students need to think about the “why” questions and ask why someone did a specific action or why a group of people acted a certain way. What caused a specific event to happen? Maybe students want to learn more about a certain person.

I think it is important to teach students that learning doesn’t stop at the end of my lesson. I need to make them want to learn more. This will help them be more successful in the future.

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