To be an effective teacher, the teacher needs to understand the main principles associated with learning. The learning process has multiple concepts that come into play, such as the use of visual aids and clear examples, and there are specific laws that come into play, which determine how some methods are better for some students.
However, there are certain principles of learning that all teachers usually abide by. The learning environment is evolving dramatically and will continue to change as the years go by and new technologies are introduced. These principles are designed to incorporate the dynamic changes in the learning industry while offering a platform for people to learn in a safe and secure manner.
The Rapid Evolution of Learning
The way we learn has changed dramatically in the past couple of centuries. First of all, the lessons, especially in the older classes, have evolved as our understanding of key subjects such as physics and chemistry and mathematics have evolved. For instance, radioactivity was virtually undiscovered in the 1800s.
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the concept of radioactivity was discovered by Marie Curie, so a whole new dimension to the subject of physics was added. Radioactive substances were introduced and elements were added that further enhanced our understanding of chemistry.
Needless to say, as time passes on, more and more studies are going to be carried out that are going to further increase our understanding of different subjects. Obviously, learning as a whole has to evolve as well. Not all students know how to learn, so it is up to the teachers to give them detailed information and ensure they understand the concept properly. Here are seven main principles that teachers must understand regarding the nature of learning.
- Learners at the Center
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that learners must be at the center of the lesson. Can they articulate their learning? Can they manage learning on their own time and more importantly, will they be able to set specific goals to ensure they are able to learn effectively?
The important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you survey your students. Unless you know how your learners are able to respond to new concepts and ideas in class, it’s going to be difficult for you to introduce new concepts to them. Without knowing this, meeting the needs of the learners is going to be virtually impossible, and there are always going to be students who are dissatisfied with the lessons.
- Understanding the Social Roots of Learning
Learners are able to “learn” better when they can collaborate with each other in teams or in a group environment. If there are limited opportunities for a student to collaborate with others, it’s obviously going to have a negative impact on their learning potential.
The introduction of collaborative practices is essential in the classroom and it’s going to play an important role in promoting students to discuss their approach to learning with each other. Even in the instances of remote learning, the provision of a collaborative environment, such as forums or platforms to discuss answers and queries, is of the utmost importance.
Without that, students are not going to understand whether they are on a similar level as other peers, and it’s going to have a dire impact on their overall learning abilities as well.
- The Power of Emotions
Emotions cannot be understated when it comes to learning. One of the core principles followed by expert teachers is that they know how to help learners manage their emotions in a better manner. This is important because a student must know how to manage themselves and their key competencies. Failure to do that is going to result in a serious problem.
For instance, can a learner give names of adults who believe in them? Neglecting the power of relationships in a learning environment is a serious flaw and could prevent students from succeeding. Practicing proper well-being and promoting mental health and awareness is very important in the workplace.
- Respecting Individual Differences
Individual differences are expected to arise between students, and even teachers. However, learners need to have faith that their teachers know each of their individual strengths and their passions, without which it’s going to be difficult for them to succeed.
In most learning environments around the globe, students convene from different parts of the globe. Their cultural backgrounds need to be utilized and respected, and it is up to the teachers to make sure that they value and respect the cultural beliefs and differences among the students, and play to their students.
By allowing students to bring valued knowledge from their own cultures into the school, it makes assimilation much easier and also allows students to respect each other’s individual differences.
- Challenging Students
Challenging is at the core of modern learning. Unless a student feels challenged and their mental abilities are stretched, they are not going to be able to learn new things. Learners need to feel that they are making a contribution to the community, and the only way this can happen is when you set high expectations as a teacher for them.
How do you know whether a student has learned what is being taught? How do we know that learners know what’s expected of them? Are learners aware of what qualities they need to work on? Are they comfortable in receiving and more importantly, giving feedback?
Assessments are necessary to figure out whether a student is doing well in class and whether they are able to retain the information being disseminated in class in the first place. If a student is not able to retain this information, they are not going to perform well on the test.
Ultimately, the teachers will become aware of which students are not performing at the highest level, and they can then work on figuring out why certain students are not able to perform better in assessments. The importance of making learning visible and creative is equally important, because it will help in retention of information.
- Horizontal Connections
Lastly, learners should be able to relate to real-life situations. If there is no context, or if they are not given an understanding of why they are learning a particular topic and how it’s going to help them, there’s really no point to it.
There should be ample opportunities for learners to connect with each other and to the wider environment so that they can explore their skill sets. They should be able to understand and evolve constantly by meeting with people who have passed through the same gauntlet and are putting their skills to good use.
This is going to help in the development of a future focus principle and increase motivation in the learning space dramatically, making students more aware of how they need to progress. These are the main principles that teachers should focus on.