Three Tips for Fostering Innovative Learning

student and teacher

As the world continues to evolve, the educational system has also experienced change and innovation. The traditional, standardized model of teaching and learning has been challenged, faced with accusations on neglecting individuality and dismissing creativity. True enough, standardized methods of education have assumed that every child or student is the same. They rank students according to their test scores, which do not measure practical skills but instead judge the ability of students to adhere to guidelines and rules. Individuality and personal learning styles are completely ignored.

Educators need to understand that each person has their own unique way of learning. While some can immediately understand concepts after reading books, others are more hands-on when it comes to mastery. In fact, studies have revealed that there are seven different learning styles: visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic, logical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Hence, the importance of innovative learning that supports and nourishes each student’s unique learning style. Here’s how educators can foster innovative learning in their classrooms.

Encourage creativity

A traditional classroom setting would involve a teacher dictating lessons and writing on the chalkboard while students ideally listen and take notes. This method of teaching has been done for years. But as the world evolves, more attention has been placed on fostering creativity among students. Children nowadays do not learn through memorization and mastery. In fact, strict by-the-book learning will not benefit them in their future professional careers. Employers look for creative individuals who are able to think on their feet and explore opportunities outside of the box.

Children must be able to synthesize academic concepts through enjoyable and meaningful activities. Personal experience and interest go a long way in motivating a person to explore and seek more knowledge. So encourage your students to indulge in the arts, take drum lessons, play sports, etc. These extracurricular activities will teach them more valuable life skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.

Discourage pure textbook learning

student in the libraryWe’re not saying that you should completely trash school textbooks and disregard the lessons written on their pages. But as much as possible, educators should not be too strict about how students answer questions. The common tendency is that teachers are looking for answers that are dictated in books and papers. But this runs the risk of the student becoming only “book smart,” meaning that they do not apply academic learnings in their lives.

Transition from textbook learning to allowing students to come up with their own solutions to problems. Ask open-ended questions that will encourage them to share their own perspectives. Allow them to connect lessons with their personal experiences, real-world events, etc. This will help the students develop their thinking skills and foster collaborative and innovative learning.

Consider individual personalities

Psychology suggests that there are two main personality traits: extraversion and introversion. Extroverts gain energy from social interaction. On the other hand, introverts can feel easily drained in loud and crowded scenarios. Instead, they find comfort in solitude and alone time. Most classroom settings fail to acknowledge different personality traits. While it is true that a classroom should encourage group collaboration, teamwork, and gatherings, introverted students are neglected in this scenario.

As an educator, make it a point to create a place for every type of learner. Perhaps you can give options to students on whether or not they want to work with a group or solo. This will help each personality type thrive in the environment they are most comfortable with.

Becoming a teacher is a very challenging but fulfilling job. A good teacher is one who can foster creative and innovative learning in the four corners of their classrooms. With these tips, you can help mold your students to become successful in their personal and professional lives.

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