Teaching is as much an art as it is a science. Your practical skills and inherent personal traits will determine what kind of teacher you will become. On the other hand, your knowledge and critical mind will decide how effective you are in obtaining good learning outcomes for your students. As time progresses and we go further into this modernized world, every field implements modern solutions to improve results. And the field of education is no exception.
Everything from the family structure, political and economic environment, and general societal values has evolved in the past few years. Therefore, students today who are growing up in this environment find it challenging to adapt to theories and practices of the past.
As a teacher, this can be a difficult situation for you. So, if you need help finding ways to improve student learning outcomes, this article is for you.
1. Learn New Theories & Practices
If you’re working in the education industry, one of the most important things to realize is that you are in for a lifetime of learning. The best thing you can do as a teacher is to increase your knowledge and skills and be a better educator. By learning and evolving with the changing times, you can be a more effective instructor to your students.
A great way is to improve your educational profile by enrolling in a post-graduate course. It will allow you to learn skills, such as modern education theories, strategies, and new-age best practices in education, and also help you in your professional development.
If you’re a working professional, you might think this is an impractical option since you can’t possibly take a career break. If you opt for an Online Doctorate in Education, you won’t have to do so. You can learn new skills and theories from the comfort of your home at your own pace while continuing your full-time job.
You can improve student learning outcomes with a doctorate in education and take up senior-level roles. For instance, you can work as a Postsecondary Professor, Education Consultant, Principal, Chief Learning Officer, Provost, and Dean.
This way, you can work closely with the management to devise strategies and practices to improve student learning outcomes.
2. Make Use of Technology
A prevalent problem with adults today is that they are highly cautious of technology and prefer sticking to their dated practices and techniques. However, in this age of scientific advancements, there is so much that technology can offer in the classroom. Instead of looking at tech gadgets and systems as distractions, why not consider the value they can add to your student’s learning?
Research suggests that children consume knowledge much better through modern teaching methods that use technology, as they are less easily distracted. Take advantage of the numerous resources available online for little to no cost, which you can use for teaching. Websites like Udemy & Coursera offer a vast selection of online courses available for free, which you can assign to your students as an assignment.
Similarly, several online platforms, including YouTube, have great tutorials on different subjects. Using technological tools, you can offer your students a diverse pool of knowledge from which they can learn other skills, perceptions, and ideas, thereby improving their learning outcomes.
3. Practical over Theory
Children today need learning stimulation, which seldom happens by listening to a lecture in the classroom. A proven way to improve student learning outcomes is to focus on practical teaching methods rather than traditional textbooks.
It is because practical teaching methods have a more profound impact as they require students to put theories to use in real-life situations. Therefore, children have their own practical experiences to rely on for understanding and remembering a theory rather than on textual or audio-visual resources.
If you’re teaching biology, explaining the osmosis process will not be as effective as having your students carry out the potato slices experiment. By allowing your students to get their hands dirty and testing the scientific theory for themselves, you can help them develop concrete concepts they will remember for a lifetime.
4. Personalized Instruction
Einstein said, ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.’ As a teacher, you will be at the front of a classroom full of diverse individuals, each coming with their personality, background, and learning acumen.
The traditional education theories encourage clubbing all students together based on age or grade. However, we now know that every child can react differently to a one-size-fits-all teaching method. It is essential to give personalized attention and guidance to each student. And that’s how you can improve student learning outcomes.
Of course, as a teacher with an entire class to handle, this is only sometimes possible. However, you can take time out for monthly one-on-one sessions with your students to assess their growth and needs.
Then, after determining which kids are struggling, you can dedicate a little extra time to improving them.
5. Forego Traditional Assessment & Rewards
Students have been victimized constantly by the traditional systems of assessment and rewards, which bring down the value of a child to a single number. Psychology tells us that everybody’s neurological makeup is different, which makes us all react differently in the same situation.
Although extremely intelligent and competent, some people need help handling exams and interviews. Testing them in an archaic assessment manner is an ineffective and damaging teaching practice. Instead, it is wise to forego the conventional assessment and rewards system altogether.
Introduce more lenient assessment policies and practices that accommodate children who don’t perform well in tests. Allow options for retaking exams and be gracious with extensions for assignment deadlines. Your cooperation will lower students’ stress levels and encourage them to perform better.
The life of an educator was never easy, and with time, it has become more challenging. With students suffering from high mental stress, and fewer parents taking responsibility for the non-academic training of children, teaching is truly a battle that has to be fought every day.
However, if you are passionate about your work, your impact on the next generation will be well worth the difficulties. Just be sure to consider the suggestions highlighted above, and you will see a visible improvement in your student’s performance.