Teaching Strategies: How to Encourage Students to do their own Work?
Learning changes dramatically when students have opportunities to produce work that matters to them. You must recall times when I dragged my feet completing a task, or rushed through a requirement that was imposed on me. And I have memories of skipping meals or staying up too late to work on projects that felt meaningful.
Some students find ways to create work that represents a deep connection to and exploration of content. Others don’t feel engaged or invested in what they’re doing, and their final products are rushed and superficial.
The work of a teacher and of the school is to create more opportunities for students to connect with content and produce work that they feel they own. Rather than submit something that’s an exercise in going through the motions, students should have opportunities to create work that allows them to investigate issues that feel meaningful to them. It’s not that project criteria should be forgotten, but rather that we should design learning that provides students with opportunities and possibilities.
Strategies for Student Engagement :
1. Outline for the work
Framing units with inquiry provides opportunities for students to think about issues from new perspective and provides a container for investigation. Essential questions are an integral part of this process, although they can be introduced at different stages depending on the unit and the flow of the learning.
Lesson plan should begin with the whole class reading, writing, and discussing the same topics, but there is almost always a point where students are given opportunities to continue their investigation by creating a project on a topic of their choosing.
3. Inspiration and Sources
Once students begin the process of creation, try to flood them with sources that will help them generate ideas, research more deeply, and produce work in innovative ways. Read and analyse a model text as a class, or provide students with a source bank and/or a detailed project guide.
4. Share with an audience
Whenever possible, have students create work that will be seen by others and not just the class. Excerpts of papers may be read aloud as we sit in a large circle, project links may be posted to an online forum where we all offer feedback, or the work may be shared with an outside audience and/or be part of a larger, outside project. This practice is a huge motivation for students.
Learning is a complex, individual process that requires teachers to balance and continually reformulate. “The first step should be understanding the difference between what the students actually need versus what the teacher think that they need. The easiest way to spot the difference is to just talk to your students!”
The article has excerpts from Edutopia. Read the original here.