Have you ever wondered why students try to skip school? We all have come across children wanting vacations twice a year to avoid going to school. The only reason why students seem to drift away from education is the repetitive and mundane curriculum. They have to sit in the same classrooms, follow a rigorous timetable, attend countless lectures, and do homework as well. Does this sound fun and exciting? Of course, not.
As the idea of learning has become boring, students are losing interest in their studies. Before this starts having consequences on the entire economy, educators should think beyond the traditional classroom. They can introduce creative and unique ways to engage students and encourage them to learn and study hard. Perhaps, schools can switch to progressive teaching, engage in real-world learning, or bring something fun in the classrooms.
If you don’t know how to upscale the classroom experience, keep reading. Here we are highlighting six creative ways to keep students engaged in the classroom.
1. Choose Progressive Teaching Style
Unlike traditional learning, progressive education values experience over learning. In simple words, teachers encourage students to think and understand instead of memorizing everything. For that, educators offer hands-on projects, allowing students to learn by engaging in activities that put their knowledge to use. In addition to expanding horizons, students get to experiment with new things, making education fun and interactive.
Moreover, the progressivism teaching style portrays the teacher as a facilitator who interacts with students and encourages them to think. Often, students and the teacher sit around a round table and interact with each other. It gives every student a chance to speak and put their ideas forward.
2. Emphasize Discovery & Inquiry
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to increase engagement in the classroom is to provoke curiosity. Instead of answering questions right away, leave cliffhangers. It would let students discover learning for themselves, closing doors for spoon-feeding. In addition, they will get a chance to exercise creative and critical thinking skills to discover and learn new things.
Moreover, teachers can give research-based assignments for homework rather than asking students to solve questions from the book. It provides students autonomy to figure out things by themselves and develop solutions, improving problem-solving skills. Precisely, emphasizing discovery and inquiry would expand the learning curve while establishing interest in studies.
3. Introduce Role Plays
Teaching through role-playing is an incredible choice. It allows students to step out of their comfort zone and develop interpersonal skills. Likewise, it will help students understand how academic material aligns with everyday tasks. Hence, whether you teach history, literature, or business studies, have a few role-playing sessions every week.
If you are teaching the topic of ‘conflict resolution,’ give a hypothetical situation and ask students to act it out. It would make them understand how conflicts happen in real life and ways to solve them. Once students have finished role-playing, spend time debriefing to enhance knowledge of the subject further.
4. Engage in Real-World Learning
Believe it or not, adding real-world experiences into your instructions and lectures can make teaching fresh and enriching. Students would find it easy to connect the dots since they can relate the course material in real life. For this, teachers can use anecdotes and case studies in the classroom. After every topic, you can give students a case study to solve. It will allow them to apply their learning in the practical world while making learning material enjoyable.
Furthermore, instructors can give real-life examples to root teaching in the real world. For instance, if students learn about corporate social responsibility (CSR), talk about the popular companies engaging in CSR. It would spark interest and get the students excited and involved in the classroom.
5. Take Class outside the Classroom
At one point in time, the same classroom environment can become boring for the students. Hence, once or twice a month, teachers can conduct classes outdoors. For example, if you have to teach students about pollution and the environment, conduct class in the courtyard. These topics are best learned outside the classroom as students feel fresh and different.
Besides this, organize field trips relevant to the classroom lessons. When learning about organizational behavior, you can take students to a company’s office. It would give them an insight into the professional world, allowing them to observe and understand how things happen.
6. Gamify Learning
Undeniably, games are one of the most intuitive sources of engagement for students. So, why not gamify the learning experience? Teachers can transform activities into games by adding different levels of difficulty, rewards, and a competitive element. Maybe, you can conduct whiteboard races where students compete against each other. Otherwise, pit students against teachers to achieve behavioral goals.
Apart from this, you can give classic games an educational twist. For instance, give students access to a dictionary when playing scrabble and see how they progress further. Similarly, you can encourage students to play monopoly since it will help in developing financial literacy. Lastly, display a scorecard to make every student’s progress visible and encourage friendly competition.
In academia, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but creativity can be a game-changer in classrooms. Teachers can introduce new learning methods and techniques to make education fun for students. Perhaps, you can offer a real-world learning experience, introduce role plays, or give students autonomy to work their way out. Likewise, think beyond the classroom and attract students with unique learning techniques to keep them engaged.