Teachers are often tasked with the large responsibility of instilling a true love for learning in their students. Not only do they want to foster positive educational skills, but they want to ensure that their students are engaging with the educational process in an effective way. Many students disengage from learning if an initial love of gaining knowledge is not there to some degree. This is usually a pretty difficult task for teachers because young students cannot yet grasp their true and full investment in learning. Learning is something that will help any human in virtually any area of their lives! Teachers, therefore, need to work to ensure that their students have a life-long love of learning that can help them navigate a variety of situations.
One simple way in which teachers can fuel their students love of learning is through modeling. Modeling is a technique teachers use to demonstrate skills or concepts exactly as they want their students to do it (Schunk, 2012). As adults, we forget just how frequently children are watching and mimicking our actions and attitudes towards anything and everything. Modeling is an effective instructional strategy for teachers, too. Students who see their teachers equally as engaged in content and committed to their own learning are more likely to emulate the same love for learning. Modeling is a technique that any teacher can easily utilize to encourage their students. Plus- it doesn’t cost a single penny! Additionally, teachers should want to be self-aware enough to practice and use the same skills that they are expecting from their students.
Yet another way that teachers can get their students to be life-long learners is to give them full agency in the learning process. Take constructivism, for example. Constructivism is a learning theory that is gaining more popularity in modern education. It’s framework centers around students using their prior knowledge to build their understanding of new concepts (Schunk, 2012). This theory requires an active learner, who is fully engaged in the learning process as most constructivists do not believe that learning happens through passively receiving information from an instructor. Students who learn from constructivist-driven teachers utilize problem-solving and critical thinking skills to look at unknown problems in an easily digestible way. Constructivist teachers seek to show the value in the students’ point of view and their educational process (Burden &Byrd, 2013). This is an important part of creating and sustaining a love of learning because it gives students the encouragement to be free thinkers. By this I mean, students who have teachers that help them comprehend new ideas or work through their own seemingly complex problems, are less likely to be put off by anything unknown. It ultimately helps motivate students to not get distressed over wrong answers, but to instead use process and try again. In this way, constructivism helps give students the necessary perseverance to not be discouraged by any part of the learning process.
By: Shaelyn Blaney