Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Strategies to Inspire Commitment to Learning

How big a role does involvement play in the arduous task we call learning?  If you think about it, getting all kids involved in learning can be a challenging task.  With all of the learning styles, attitudes about learning, and perceptions that students have about content, great teachers are like sales associates in their approach to hook all students in learning.

But I'd like you to think of involvement in this way.  When kids or adults don't feel included in any task or worse, they feel like the task is being done to them, the chances that they'll take ownership of the task are slim to none.  To synthesize this idea further, read this Stephen Covey quote.

Source:  "Motivational Quotes"
Compiled by Mac Anderson

Evaluate your Student Commitment

To determine the level of student commitment to learning in your class, answer these questions.
  • What percentage of your students are committed to the learning in your class?  
  • How many kids are engaged in learning before you even begin your lesson?  
  • How many students are independently seeking support for concepts that illusive to them?
  • How many students are interested in learning about your content from other students in the classroom?
It's natural to have students that are not committed or even involved in the learning opportunities that we provide, but how we respond to these students determines whether or not we can convince them to choose commitment. 

5 Strategies to Inspire Student Commitment in Learning

  1. Leadership - When kids have the opportunity to help lead the learning, participation grows,
  2. Examples - When examples of student work are used as teaching tools, students motivation increases.
  3. Advancement - When students see how learning tasks help them grow in their abilities and knowledge, they become more committed.
  4. Real-world - When learning is tied to the real-world topics and issues that students can connect with, involvement grows.  The more relevant the learning, the more committed the learner.
  5. N-It-4-Me - Every lesson must be able to be able to answer this ever-present student question, "What's in it for me right now?"  If you can sell your content to your client, the student, chances are they will not only buy what your teaching but sell it to their peers on your behalf.  That's the ultimate form of student commitment to learning.

Learning can't occur at high levels without commitment.  How we intentionally engage kids in class everyday plays a huge role in determining whether or not kids will choose to get involved and ultimately commit to their learning.  When it comes to learning, remember this.  When kids are cognitively and personally involved in their learning, they will commit to any task that you put in front of them.

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