Student engagement is vital to the success of any child, teacher and school in general. Students who have their attention captivated by what they are learning absorb the material more fully.
It’s only when they are interested in what they are learning will they be able to apply that knowledge to complex situations and ask meaningful questions that foster thought-provoking conversation. This is the type of engagement to strive for in classrooms.
But how do international schools achieve this? Here are four strategies Alice Smith School teachers implement to encourage vibrant student engagement.
Productive feedback from teachers and peers
Feedback has always been a big part of any students learning, but good quality, productive feedback is perhaps the best to get. this kind of feedback on any given assignment or project from teachers and peers is invaluable in supporting students’ learning progress.
Giving any old feedback isn’t always conducive to success – students need to feel like they have the tools and capabilities to act on that feedback and implement changes based on it. It needs to encourage them rather than dishearten or demotivate them. Feedback like this helps support student’s future capacity to retain knowledge more effectively, and helps from their critics instead of feeling insecure and fearing them. Research has shown that it can even change GCSE’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
Dynamic, interactive learning spaces
At Alice Smith School, our campuses are designed to be modern, fresh, vibrant, clean, comfortable, and open. Our classrooms are like those you find on a university campus: picturesque buildings that allow fresh air to flow through open areas, with partition walls that enable flexibility and creativity.
We also have resources all over campus that inspire our student’s imaginations, with comfortable seating areas scattered around so a lightbulb moment, they can sit down and get to work.
Supporting students and giving them the ability to choose where and how they learn inspires them to actually want to learn.
Taking learning outside of the classroom
Whilst we’re on the topic of learning spaces and classrooms, we also value getting out of the classroom altogether. Doing something exciting and interesting outside of the normal lessons is a great way to promote student engagement.
Experiential learning is a key part of what we do here at Alice Smith School. Our students are provided with challenging, interesting activities and trips outside of the classroom to help engage them in what they’re learning in an authentic way.
This could include fundraising, community service, personal challenge awards, trips, and excursions (locally and internationally) and the highly anticipated and creative annual stage productions. Whether physical, personal, or intellectual, these opportunities promote independence, collaboration, and personal development in our students.
Passionate and innovative teaching
The impact a good teacher has on a student should never be underestimated – and it’s obvious when a student has been taught by a passionate teacher. These kinds of teachers care about the knowledge they’re imparting to students, they strive to be better, learn more. They also spend time working one-on-one with students and with other teachers.
According to Visible Learning, teachers are more likely to have above average effects of student achievement if they:
- use influential teaching methods;
- have high, clearly communicated expectations for all students; and
- have positive student-teacher relationships.
Students who are exposed to this type of learning environment increasingly engage both with the teacher and fellow students – they feel inspired to learn more.
With a 21st-century approach to the traditional British curriculum, students learn through a more innovative, collaborative, inclusive environment at Alice Smith School. Download our whitepaper to explore the benefits of this type of approach to learning.
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