Strategies to Engage Reluctant Learners for Better Educational Outcomes

Most of the students have gone through situations where they do not want to participate in classroom sessions or concentrate on the lectures. Such moments are characterized by slumped bodies, rolled eyes, defiant words, constant distractions, and off-task behaviors. To avoid such occurrences, teachers have to take steps to encourage student participation and ignite their interest towards the class. Although it does not work like magic spells or tricks, but teachers can employ certain principles and strategies to motivate students and unleash the curious learner in them.

Motivating Learners Effectively

The key ingredient to achieve better results in classroom teaching is to support and encourage the students. If the lectures and topics covered in the class are interesting and engaging, then the students will develop interest towards the same and participate actively. Teachers can employ the below mentioned techniques to ensure complete involvement of reluctant learners. These can assist in enhancing the classroom experience and elevate the teaching–learning process.

Connecting with the Students Individually

Every student has their individual passions and imaginative streak; something beyond school and daily life. Teachers can uncover and identify fields of interest of various students, and take steps towards nurturing the same. Simple prompts like, ‘What do you enjoy spending time on?’ or ‘What do you want your ideal superpower to be’, can be effective. After gathering the information, teachers can use them in classroom conversations; for reference in examples, explanations, and assignments. This activity can develop a sense of respect, belongingness, and value in the classroom.

Nurturing Community and Collaboration

It is very important that teachers establish relational foundation between students, right from day one. Allowing them to stay in their own shells can hamper community formation. Many students take time to open up with their peers. To solve this, teachers should conduct activities, which nurtures teamwork and promotes mutual understanding. They can divide students into groups based on their dates of birth, roll number, and similar or dissimilar traits. These groups should be shuffled on a regular basis so that each student is well acquainted with the other, and regard everyone in the classroom as colleagues.

Promoting Interactive Learning

Teachers should regularly conduct discussion sessions on various topics in the classroom. They should ensure that each student actively participates in the discussion, voicing their opinions.

Frequent conduction of such activities will increase the scope of practicing teamwork. It will reduce the tendency among students to rebel or passively resist collaborative work. Teachers can organize innovative activities like Think Dots, group discussions, and other such games to facilitate group work as well as individual accountability in interesting and non-threatening ways.

Providing Options for Learning

All of us feel empowered and motivated when we realize that our opinion is given importance in any activity. If the students are provided the options of what to read and study, they are bound to have the opportunity to explore themselves and come up with innovative methods and approaches towards study. Teachers can also encourage incorporation of gamification techniques in learning, which will help students to pursue education and learning in an interesting way.

Creating a Safe Haven for Education

It is difficult for teachers to know and understand the types of challenges and traumas a student has to go through in their daily lives. On some occasions, students feel low and need some time to clear their minds and focus on their studies. At such times, teachers need to pay special attention to the needs and problems of the students, and provide them the opportunity to recuperate. They should work towards solving students’ problems and lead the path towards better classroom sessions and educational outcomes. Teachers should promote a learning environment that creates better opportunities for gaining trust and encourages equal participation of every student.

Reluctant learners have difficulty with focusing on the classroom sessions and other associated curricular and extra-curricular activities. They take time to open up with the teachers and their fellow classmates. With proper care and observation, teachers can figure out the difficulties that each student is facing. Accordingly, they can devise corrective strategies, which can help students to progress in the classroom, along with their peers, and excel in education.

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