Student engagement is paramount to the success of the child, teacher and the school as a whole. Individuals need to be enthralled in what they are learning in order to absorb the material in a way that lets them apply their knowledge in complex contexts and ask meaningful questions that foster interesting dialogue. This is the type of engagement practitioners should strive for in the classroom.
But how can one go about achieving the aforementioned picture? How can one create a classroom rich in knowledge, interactivity and intellectual conversation? Here are four strategies used at Alice Smith School that foster vibrant and healthy student engagement.
Provide Productive Feedback
Receiving productive, quality feedback from their teachers and their peers regarding assignments and projects is pivotal in supporting a student’s progress. It is also a building block for their future capacity to retain knowledge more effectively.
Feedback, when given the right way, promotes student engagement. According to John Hattie’s Visible Learning, positive feedback can add a value equivalent to more than two General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) grades.
Through positive and productive feedback, students learn to anticipate critics and learn from them, rather than dread them.
To ensure students have an authentic, experiential learning opportunity and are engaged in what they’re learning, Alice Smith provides students with challenging and interesting activities and expeditions beyond the classroom. This type of learning includes fundraising, serving in the community, personal challenge awards, trips and excursions and the highly anticipated annual stage productions.
Having the opportunity to choose from personal, physical and intellectual challenges in a wonderful range of environments, from city to jungle, both local and international in the developed or developing world, promotes independence, collaboration and the development of personal skills.
Interactive, Flexible Learning Spaces
Modern, fresh, vibrant, clean, comfortable, bright, open. Classrooms that appear similar to what one would find on a university campus. Picturesque buildings constructed in such a way as to let fresh air run through the open areas. Resources all around that inspire creativity within students. Comfortable seating areas scattered around the campus so that the moment a student is inspired, they have somewhere to sit down and get to work.
Partitioning walls between classrooms enabling flexible spaces create learning environments that support students with choices in how they learn.
Having the ability to choose where and how you learn, inspires students to actually want to learn.
Collaborative, Passionate Teaching
According to Visible Learning, teachers who use influential teaching methods, who have high, clearly communicated expectations for all students and also have positive student-teacher relationships are more likely to have above average effects on student achievement.
The difference is evident when you have teachers who are passionate about the knowledge they’re imparting to students, who want to strive to be better, learn more and also work one-on-one with students and with other teachers.
Students who are exposed to this type of learning environment are inspired to learn more and increasingly engage both with the teacher and other students.
With a 21st-century approach to the traditional British curriculum, students learn through a more innovative, collaborative, inclusive environment. Our new whitepaper explores the benefits of this type of approach to learning. Read it here!