Students Learn Best When You Do This

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gobalpartnershipforeducationStudents Learn Best When You Do This. And This. And This.

by Grant Wiggins, Ed.D, Authentic Education

Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to a post from earlier this week, “Fixing High School By Listening To Students.”

Want to know what kids need in order to learn better? Ask them: Here are the first 50 answers, unedited, from our typical HS.

I learn best when the teacher –

  1. Has us do work hands on and with more discussion. It just seems like more fun.
  2. Is hands on and doesn’t just talk at me. They need to be interested what they’re teaching and encourage class discussions. Not only does this encourage us to use what we learned, it also helps us see the information in a different way.
  3. I learn best when the class is interactive and the teacher makes it fun and meaningful for my life
  4. I learn best in class when the teacher teaches one-on-one
  5. Explains it, then shows it, then asks us to demonstrate to make sure we know how to do it and if we don’t then further explains
  6. Assigns groups.
  7. Is engaging and attempts to relate to the students, not talk down at them
  8. gets the class involved and has hands on activities.
  9. I’m a hands on learner
  10. Allows us to ask questions and goes into detail.
  11. Teaches me in a hands on way, in other words I need to do an activity in order to learn it
  12. Shows a personality. Like when a teacher is humorous or shares personal experiences. When a teacher shows they are human, and don’t just do robotic teaching.
  13. Is showing me something visually instead of just talking at the students
  14. Shows the class what to do by demonstration
  15. Shows me step by step on how to do things and clarify any misunderstanding. Also has fun activities that involve interaction between other students in order to gain new insights. Has having field trips to experience real life situations.
  16. Is there to answer questions and gives us a lot of practice that is related to what we are going to be tested on.
  17. Interacts and gives us hands on things to do
  18. Helps me one on one
  19. Has us do things during class for us to learn
  20. Is enthusiastic about what we are learning and makes the learning fun and jokes around with us
  21. Interacts with the class and doesn’t just answer the questions on their own
  22. Slows down and does hands on activities
  23. Hands on with notes and examples
  24. Helps us learn by using visuals
  25. Teaches the class. Not when the students have to teach each other. That was horrible
  26. Actually wants us to learn about the subject and asks us questions about why we should learn this and gives us activities that ties it to the real world and outside of school
  27. hands on activities like anatomy.
  28. Has something (activity, homework, etc) that effectively demonstrates the concept
  29. Gives us a debate or something to discuss with each other
  30. Make learning active and fun
  31. I learn best when the teacher stands up in class teaches the lesson and then gives hand on activities instead of busy work. It also helps when if you don’t understand something the teacher is willing to help instead of just saying they can’t help us.
  32. Involves the whole class and we have in class discussions and everything is really hands on.
  33. Is hands on, gives us group activities and we share ideas.
  34. Hands on activities and expressing my ideas with others
  35. Is excited about what they are teaching and has many class discussions
  36. Anything that’s visual like when a problem is written out or when I have one on one with the teacher
  37. Engages students and makes content interesting.
  38. Is fun and makes me engaged
  39. Is fun and knows how to work well with the class
  40. Goes slow and spends many days going over what we are learning
  41. Gives examples & actually shows you what to do
  42. does more hands on things
  43. Talking in an exciting voice, acts like they want to be there, and help
  44. Doesn’t lecture the whole class and gives us lots of worksheets
  45. Actually teaches the class instead of simply sitting in the back of the room and play on his computer.  Or when the teacher provides no constructive criticism.
  46. Has activities for us to do and is more hands on and actually makes learning fun and want us to come to school not just another dreadful day waiting for the last bell to ring at 2:45
  47. Is more hands on, and cracks a joke here and there to keep my attention. When class is more layer back rather that really strict. Open discussion is a great stress reliever.
  48. Lectures and then let’s students work.
  49. Is interacting and asking us questions. It keeps me alert and I like getting the answers from fellow students as well as the teacher.
  50. Makes the material interesting to learn. Sometimes reading out of a book or listening to a lecture isn’t enough – I need to do hands on activities to see the point of things.

This article was excerpted from a post that first appeared on Grant’s personal blogGrant can be found on twitter here; image attribution flickr user globalpartnershipforeducation

  • william Toth

    I frequently advocate for more “hands on,” experiential learning to the science teachers I coach, but frequently hear that there “isn’t time” to do such things. They’re channeled by “pacing” guides and must teach to the blessed test.

  • Paul

    Not enough time…nor enough material. I know that hands-on learning is excellent, having done a lot of it with my classes; however, searching for and buying materials (out-of-pocket, of course) is time consuming and sometimes expensive. Of course, test-prep also consumes a lot of time.

  • Cate

    Let’s ask ourselves how CAN we faciliate learning for students that is effective and interactive within given timelines and discover solutions. This type of learning builds competencies and empowers youth and prepares them to pass tests as well as become critical, creative thinkers and lifelong learners. A multitude of ideas and success stories are at you finger tips..just google it. Websites such as this one are very useful. Don’t give up!!!