Facilitating learning goes beyond our own classroom doors. If we as teachers spend our time delivering material without an eye towards how what they are learning fits into the student's overall educational experience, our results will be sub-par. Students will leave our class little better than when the year began. Instead, we want students to leave use with a greater capacity and desire to learn on their own.
Ways to Facilitate LearningFollowing are a number of methods that can help teachers move away from standard lesson delivery and towards facilitating a true learning experience:
- Varying instructional methods to try and meet different learning styles.
- Providing students with choice to build a greater interest in the topics being taught.
- Making real world connections to make the learning more meaningful.
- Making cross-curricular connections so the information is not learned in isolation.
Varying InstructionVarying instruction means using different instructional methods to implement lesson for students. Possible methods for delivery include:
- Whole Group Discussion
- Small Group Discussion
- Role Play
- Multimedia Presentations
- Outside Speakers
- Meeting different learning style needs. For example, role-playing an aspect of 1960s protest movements in an American History class would help kinesthetic learners make connections with the lesson.
- Increasing engagement because different students are interested in different types of learning activities.
- Combating for both students and teacher.
- Providing unique learning experiences, especially when having students participate in more immersive experiences such as a Model Legislature.
Providing Students With ChoiceWhen students feel empowered in their learning, they are more likely to accept ownership of it. If a teacher simply 'delivers' the material to the students, there is no real reason for the student to feel any special attachment to it. Choice allows students to get involved in their learning. Following are a few examples of how teachers can include choice for students in their lessons:
- Allow students to choose from a number of topics for essay writing assignments.
- Provide students with a choice of books for book reports and reading assignments.
- Allow students to complete research on a topic of their choosing within the area you are currently teaching that they will then report back to the class.
- Create a class-wide assignment such as a historical newspaper and allow students to pick the section and topic on which they wish to work.