Matching students' interests with learning objectives will increase the chances of students' learning. They tend to use it and remember it long after. Using literature relevant to adolescents, for example, will raise their literacy and capacity to address contemporary issues affecting them. Reading materials about adolescents and for adolescents are another window into their world that teachers should be looking into. This is the time when they should read about themselves rather than simply sitting down for an hour and taking notes (Chckley).
Applying Learning in the Community through Projects
Projects, which give meaning to learning in the classroom, will leave an impression in adolescents' mind (Checkley, 2004). Learning about Veterans Day as a service-learning project, for example, demonstrates this. Students may be asked to identify a veteran in their family or among their acquaintances or friends. They may be asked to write the veteran a letter of appreciation or send him a simple poem. An appreciation breakfast may be held to highlight the project. The Veterans Day project is not a regular activity in some schools. Lessons, which are supplemented by projects in community, are also effective in teaching older adolescents. They will be just as interested. It has been said that learning need not be boring (Checkey).
How to Engage the New Intermediate Learner
Know his learning style. If the teacher knows a student's learning style, she can devise her lesson, plan her lectures, and introduce interventions to fit it and improve student performance (Hollowell, 2012). She can do this by observing the student during class or by conducting a checklist or survey of the entire class' learning styles. An awareness of learning styles and how to teach, using these styles, is a major classroom objective. She cannot just instruct her way and expect students to fit her style and succeed. Students learn in many ways. The teacher should bore into their educational needs by discovering the learning style through which he can best attain academic progress. Knowing his learning style will enable her to address and solve his learning problems. This knowledge alone will allow the teacher to use interventions on a child with learning disabilities (Hollowell).
Learning styles are auditory, visual, kinesthetic or tactile (Hollowell, 2012). A student with an auditory learning style can listen to lectures and remember the content without the need to take down notes. He prefers classroom discussions by repeating the lesson verbally or by listening to someone talking. The more traditional teaching methods and music are the more effective learning tools for him because of his auditory style. The student with a visual learning style is more inclined to learn what he sees or reads. He prefers written instructions and illustrations. He likes to read charts and diagrams, keep notes and organize learning materials. These type of materials and educational videos are most effective for his learning style. And the student with the kinesthetic or tactile style learns best through physical movement and touch or by watching someone demonstrate a task or lesson. This student learns best by manipulating items and through hands-on activities. He is likely to have developed motor skills early in life and remembers concepts modeled by the teacher. Preschool and kindergarten children mostly have the kinesthetic or tactile learning style (Hollowell).
Show the Relevance and Benefits of Learning
Recent literature reveals that the adolescent student has trouble learning if he fails to see that what he is being taught is relevant and beneficial to him (Lewis, 2012). Aside from providing instruction, the teacher should show or inform him about his options in performing something and how these options can be implemented. Instruction in any subject can apply this cue to any subject in school. The student should be informed about how education applies to his personal life and how it will empower him to become more capable of learning (Lewis).
Discuss the Lesson
The Socratic method of learning has been suggested for use by teachers of adolescent studies (Lewis, 2012). This method, called dialectic, uses the question-and-answer form in reaching a conclusion. It allows a student to obtain and clarify the answer to a question as his mind processes new knowledge. Adolescents use different methods to learn. Recognizing and using an adolescent student's learning styles and asking him questions provide him the opportunity to take part and go through the learning process (Lewis).
Attune Instruction to His Development Stage
A variety of positive role models is advantageous to his learning (Kolar, 2012). He needs those with whom he can relate in his search for an identity. Achievers in the subject being taught will help him plot his own search or himself. The teacher may also name accomplishments by achievers whom the student can use as models of his work and identity. He should be given opportunities to transform his interests into projects when he feels that these interests are part of the identity that is forming within him. He should choose the projects he wants to embark in. He should also learn to criticize a person's behavior rather than the person himself. Encouragement at this point may lead him to drop the entire learning endeavor for another. He likewise should know the long-term negative consequences of poor classroom performance or misbehavior so that he may become more responsible in making decisions for himself. And the teacher should encourage and support his innate interests, such as acting, sports and composing (Kolar).
The Ontario Guidance and Career Education Program
The goals of this program are student development, interpersonal development, and career development (MET, 1999). Through it, a student can establish his own learning goals and attain them, manage his own learning, and acquire the habits and skills to succeed. He can learn self-discipline; take responsibility for his own action; obtain the knowledge and skills in dealing with others in school and outside; and interact positively with them. And he will learn how to make intelligent and correct decisions in passing from one school level to the next higher (MET). #
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