Students Learn Best When You Do This. And This. And This.
Ed note: On May 26, 2015, Grant Wiggins passed away. Grant was tremendously influential on TeachThought’s approach to education, and we were lucky enough for him to contribute his content to our site. Occasionally, we are going to go back and re-share his most memorable posts. This is one of those posts. Thankfully his company, Authentic Education, is carrying on and extending the work that Grant developed
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 –
- Has us do work hands on and with more discussion. It just seems like more fun.
- 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.
- I learn best when the class is interactive and the teacher makes it fun and meaningful for my life
- I learn best in class when the teacher teaches one-on-one
- 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
- Assigns groups.
- Is engaging and attempts to relate to the students, not talk down at them
- gets the class involved and has hands on activities.
- I’m a hands on learner
- Allows us to ask questions and goes into detail.
- Teaches me in a hands on way, in other words I need to do an activity in order to learn it
- 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.
- Is showing me something visually instead of just talking at the students
- Shows the class what to do by demonstration
- 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.
- Is there to answer questions and gives us a lot of practice that is related to what we are going to be tested on.
- Interacts and gives us hands on things to do
- Helps me one on one
- Has us do things during class for us to learn
- Is enthusiastic about what we are learning and makes the learning fun and jokes around with us
- Interacts with the class and doesn’t just answer the questions on their own
- Slows down and does hands on activities
- Hands on with notes and examples
- Helps us learn by using visuals
- Teaches the class. Not when the students have to teach each other. That was horrible
- 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
- hands on activities like anatomy.
- Has something (activity, homework, etc) that effectively demonstrates the concept
- Gives us a debate or something to discuss with each other
- Make learning active and fun
- 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.
- Involves the whole class and we have in class discussions and everything is really hands on.
- Is hands on, gives us group activities and we share ideas.
- Hands on activities and expressing my ideas with others
- Is excited about what they are teaching and has many class discussions
- Anything that’s visual like when a problem is written out or when I have one on one with the teacher
- Engages students and makes content interesting.
- Is fun and makes me engaged
- Is fun and knows how to work well with the class
- Goes slow and spends many days going over what we are learning
- Gives examples & actually shows you what to do
- does more hands on things
- Talking in an exciting voice, acts like they want to be there, and help
- Doesn’t lecture the whole class and gives us lots of worksheets
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Lectures and then lets students work.
- Is interacting and asking us questions. It keeps me alert and I like getting the answers from fellow students as well as the teacher.
- 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.