Students are not passive receptacles to fill with information. They come to class with their own frames of reference. Their unique experiences and knowledge affect them as learners and should be taken into account. Therefore, during every exercise, teachers should accept student input as much as possible. They should justify assignments, accept suggestions, solicit ideas, and provide ample time for students to share ideas. Teachers should include students in assessing their own progress by reviewing test results, written reports, and educational plans. Creating and improvising opportunities to involve students in the learning process allows students to become aware of how they learn and why certain skills benefit them. As a result, students are motivated and more likely to apply those skills when working independently. In short, an included student becomes an invested student who is eager to learn.
We contribute to students’ academic success when we help them understand that people learn in different ways and guide them to discover the power of knowing which strategies are most beneficial for them to retain and use information. Additionally, a key foundation for successful learning is a safe, success-oriented teaching environment in which students consistently experience support and respect from the teacher and other students are taught to give those in return. This productive dialogue can also increase motivation, and when we enhance motivation, we are inviting students to participate in planning how they will learn and how they will demonstrate their learning.
For the full text of Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles™, including “Include Students in the Learning Process,” click here.