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Options for motivating classroom learning

By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
If instructors fail to develop skills that will motivate learners in classrooms, it has been established by experts that learners will encounter major emotional and mental difficulties in their academic and future professional life.

According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), low motivation to learn leads to poor academic achievement, which in turn, leads to low self-esteem which eventually results in a negative self-fulfilling pattern.

Indeed, well over 80% of students fall below expectations in at least one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Sciences, Literature, English or Computing which results from lack of motivation in learning. And unless teachers adopt skills of motivating learners, our schools will continue to experience low enrolment and high dropouts cases.

What then are the ways of motivating the learners? According to the Chief Executive Officer of Thrazel, a resources outfit, Mr Lateef Raji, teachers need to adopt participatory teaching technique instead of the prevailing teaching model of information spoon-feeding, adding that the passive receptive  baviour in students often results in lack of motivation to learn as students only make efforts to learn just the basic to pass the test.

He advocates for a participatory teaching approach, with students fully engaged in knowledge generation.

Another way of motivating pupils/students to learn is the adoption of resources-based learning which is about engaging students by presenting them with a wide array of resources they can interact with and choose according to their preferred style and pace of learning.

A teacher that adopts resources-based learning sets a goal for students, tell them where to find the resources, and sets a deadline for completion.

The students then work with the resources  themselves, according to their natural learning behaviour, interact, learn, and then come back to the class to share what they have learned. With this method, the teacher becomes a facilitator of the learning process instead of the current content instructor.

Explaining the value of this teaching method, Raji says that “the student claims the ownership of the knowledge, becomes more self-directed and develops stronger analytical and synthesizing skills. The class becomes more participative as students share what they learned and learning becomes more entertaining.”

However, there is the need for government and owners of private schools to make learning resources available and to see them as supplemental and not substitutional of classroom-based teaching. Presently, many schools do not have enough learning resources for all students.

In the school  library, there are only a limited number of books, CDS, videos to loan out to all kids at the same time so that they can engage in resources-based learning.

Also, even digital content  in school library is limited. Another problem is that most schools do not have librarians that can support every teacher and every class at the same time to carry out resources-based learning.

And referring the students to search on the internet requires guidance because there are piles of poor quality, unvalidated content which could harm students’ learning.

There is, however, the need for a tight coordination between the teacher and a librarian to gather the resources because they are not stored in one place.

A way of motivating learning among pupils and students is by tracking their study habits. Many teachers and parents are unable to track the student study habits.

They don’t know if a student has really been preparing long before the examination or hasn’t prepared at all. The only thing they see is the results of the examination.

Thus, to build awareness and usage of resources-based learning, there is the need for training sessions for teachers, parents and students.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.