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Exploring Teaching Methods That Help Engage Students

2603 words - 10 pages

Considering a stereotypical class room, the bell rings, students are almost in their seats, and the teacher is demanding their attention. It is hard for the teacher to gain the attention let alone the willingness to learn from their students. No matter what subject is being taught, this has the recipe for boredom from the get go. Any curiosity or imagination for the students has been choked. In order for the teacher to gain the eagerness to learn from his students, he would have to resort to all the mental keenness he could muster. No matter how gifted the teacher, students tend to lose interest in learning in an everyday run of the mill style of class room environment. What creative power or what unusual and highly innovated resource can be implemented into a classroom that has been limited by tradition, a lack of creativity, and monotony? The answer is not a teacher who has an ingenious nature or who is a skilled innovator. The answer relies on the teacher’s methods.

There are many different methods that have proved to be effective. Activities such as group lead discussion, group discovery, and teacher lead critical thinking discussions have proved effective in integrating different learning styles (Chick). Another method that will stimulate the imagination, and arouse the analytical side of learners is implementation of audio visuals and visual aids for the introduction, during the lectures, prompts for discussions, and even for the closure of class (Atkinson 2). This is a tool – a resource that needs to be tapped. Lastly, setting up the classroom into groups of desks and even changing the classroom on a day to day basis that will emulate what kind of methods are being used for that day by the teacher keeps learners excited about their class and interested in the types of activities they are going to be engaged in for that day.

Without certain tactics, students are doomed to the same lecture style of education. In this style the teacher is the possessor of knowledge. The teacher lectures and the class takes notes. The teacher then models and the class participates in guided practice. The teacher gives homework and the students do independent study. There is no connection of life and lesson plan in this style. Not all quiet classrooms are learning classrooms. The teacher in this situation may think of himself as the key to unlocking the mysteries of universe and all student better take heed to his knowledge. In other words, be quiet and just listen. There are many different learning styles, and this only promotes one – auditory. This is not to say that this method of teaching is not appropriate, but it should be used in moderation.

A more effective method would be a discussion method (Henning). This could be implemented in a many different ways, including discussions spun off of short mini-lectures, group lead discussions, teacher lead discussions, and discussion provoked by audio visuals as described above. ...

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