How can we help build meaningful learning experiences for students?

The world is a competitive place. Especially in the 21st century with colleges lowering their acceptance rates, schools accepting students only with high performance indicators and jobs following the run of the mill evaluative process that has nothing to do with skill.

The growing wave of liberal education hasn’t changed things too much – students are still required to show their abilities in the form of marks. Research has shown that it is a fairly redundant evaluative technique, however, it is simply put to use since it is the easiest way to standardize performance. In this entire rat race, students are taught to internalise stress and learn only to perform in exams. So, how do we make sure students are learning academics in school for the long run and not just to stamp their merit on paper very temporarily? Let us read on to find out!

Remember that every child possesses a unique affinity or skill

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If you’re a parent who is worried about your child’s grades in school being lesser than the class average, do not fret. Every child displays interest uniquely and it is unfair to stress your child if they don’t comply with class standards. Make learning and assimilating the goal and take the emphasis away from marks. Encourage their talents and feed their natural curiosity for their areas of interest. For instance, if your child is somebody who is interested in art, it would be useful for them to be in a drawing class that is subject specific, for instance, a drawing class that specialises in wildlife. This way your child will learn in ways that the classrooms don’t support naturally.

Identify your child’s learning style

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To build on the last point, we must understand that each child learns uniquely. Some are okay with rote learning, others do better if they see concepts visually and some others respond to auditory stimuli for memory and retention. Paying close attention to a child’s learning style can help teachers and parents intervene with content that facilitates their learning. Teachers can also leverage it by enlisting the help of parents to model a specific learning environment at home if practising this in the classroom is difficult on a daily basis.

Build a relationship with your student / child

By this, we don’t mean an intimate, personal relationship. Simply put, whether you’re a teacher or a parent, it helps students learn better if you take an interest in what they are interested in. This forms a trust based relationship in academics – one where students feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with their learning lags without inciting performance anxiety. If a student knows that their facilitator understands their interest and their difficulties, it creates an open space for them to reflect on their doubts and clear it within their support systems.

Make learning a relatable experience

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A lot of us have had moments where we’ve sighed at trigonometry and wondered under what critical circumstance will we need to remember the value of sin θ. This happens because we are taught concepts before we understand the usefulness of them. Teachers can bring a sense of reality into the classroom by screening documentaries, broadcasting podcasts and encouraging students to conduct research on these topics at home.

Encourage independent learning practises

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Students often find it tough to think for themselves since school curriculums and regressive academic practises are doing the thinking for them. It is time to move away from that practise. Instil natural curiosity in students by helping them stage research on their own. Encourage the use of technology and teach them that social media is a good source of information when used rightly. Research global teaching techniques and show students how learning environments are curated in different ways, in different parts of the world. All these are good ways to stir the natural curiosity students have and it also pushes them to see the world of academics differently, independently.

We hope that these tips help you make learning a worldly experience for your students/children. At TagHive, we believe that learning needs to be durable, buildable and sustaining. There is no point in raising students only to perform in examinations since it is the student who loses out on a lot of gainful experiences. Be the change you want to see in your students/children and learn before you teach!