As teachers, we all want what is best for students. What we cannot agree on is what IS best for students. Here are my views.
- Student Centered Inquiry approach is preferable to a Teacher centered approach. For more information on Inquiry from Alberta Education: http://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf
- Students need to develop 21st century learning skills of creative thinking, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, digital literacy, and global awareness.
- Students need to be prepared for their future, not their past. They need digital literacy skills.
- Learning Pyramid – students retain information best when they interact with it and teach it to others.
- Give students a voice. We know that autonomy is valued in the workplace and in school. People want to have a choice in what they do, when they do it, who they do it with, and how they do it. Sense of belonging and that your voice matters increases engagement.
- Kids Learn Differently and have different strengths – Variety – don’t use the same approach for every topic. Vary teaching approach for different styles.
- We need to connect what students are learning with the real world. (Teach about ancient Egypt to understand present day Egypt) (Teach about cell structure and relate it to diseases like cancer or Bird Flu) (Teach about Of Mice and Men and achieving the American Dream, then have students talk about present day American dream)
- Teachers who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they teach.
Students want to get out of their seat. They want visuals. They want choice and variety. They want to have more voice in their education.