Skip to main content

Curriculum – How can we develop teaching and learning experiences to build student knowledge and understanding?

Due to the constant classroom activity students often think in different contexts about concepts and thus have a better understanding as reflective learners. For teaching goals to be successfully accomplished a supportive learning environment where students must feel comfortable to take intellectual risks and express their opinions is imperative. Through my experience I have witnessed group activities, discussions and peer evaluations become key components in generating this dynamic learning community.

The depth of a students’ understanding is not reliant on reducing the amount of content they are responsible for knowing. Knowledge and understanding are the foundations from which higher-level learning can occur. Setting high academic standards is important as this expectation assists students to achieve their educational goals. 

Scaffolding the learning builds student confidence and ability to expand intellectual qualities. Students’ academic growth through engagement and significance of the subject matter is an important aspect to building student knowledge and understanding.

Students actively and individually make sense of what they learn by integrating it into what they already understand. By definition teaching cannot occur without learning, teachers ought to seek and value students' points of view in order to understand students' thought processes and knowledge acquisition.

Students respond well to the student-centred approach, they are quick to respond, engage and participate in class. Such an approach establishes high expectations of students and the teachers, in regards to the quality of the learning experience. Learning experiences that emphasise hand-on, activity based teaching and learning during which students develop their own frames of thought. Learning occurs through the construction of new, personalised understanding that results from the emergence of new cognitive structures. Teachers who constantly search for new ways to present material and have students exhibit their understanding of concepts; display consideration and thoughtfulness in areas of human communication.

I experienced this when introducing the HSIE topic of India, one of my students had returned from a trip to New Delhi. In teaching the class, I utilised her experience and allowed her to become the expert, giving the class an authentic understanding that was significant to them. Then scaffolding these experiences with opportunities to deepen understanding and thinking strategies.

Popular posts from this blog

What does a post-industrial class look like? Part 2

This post is the second part of a series that I have been working on to identify what does a post-industrial class look like? In my previous post, I looked at using video, collaborative discussion, grouping and student-centred learning.

Why a large display and one to one? The large electronic display is used as it offers many benefits to a given lesson; these include demonstration and modelling as the teacher could showcase the application or video from the board (Moss, et al, 2007). It is easy to show the important features of particular web-based activities and have students interact with the material on their own devices. The board can accommodate different learning styles (Herrington & Harrington, 2006). Interactive boards can help tactile learners by touching and marking the board. Audio learners can have the class discussion and auditory multimedia, visual learners can see what is taking place as it develops at the board and it offers multimodal learning which can be tailored …

What can Western Education Learn from the China's History?

Sitting travelling at 307km an hour travelling from Beijing to Suzhou for 5 hours with a group of 80 gives me time to reflect on some of the engineering, architectural, fashion and acrobatic feats of China. This trip our group have been give the privilege of walking on the Great Wall, cruising through the canals of Suzhou and riding on the high speed train. What I have noticed is all of these engineering marvels were completed with amazing efficiency, are structurally sound and have aesthetic appeal. Our tour guides said this is because of the time taken to plan and execute, taking into consideration the natural beauty of the region and working with it. They suggested the public only sees the rate in which something is built; however, highlighted that it took long term vision to create something that was radically new for their culture. This idea resounds with me!
As educational change agents and leaders we need to see the budding talent encompassed within our students and support them…

How can Change Management be Enhanced by Reflective Practices?