How to rekindle a love of learning in school

“I recently toured a class where the younger students were asked to read interactive passages as part of their work. However, they also got to see how they were doing—just like the teacher saw it,” he said. “The little boy I was watching pointed at his screen and said, ‘See this green line? That’s my trajectory. It’s going up because I’m doing better.’”

Edwards continued, “There’s a sense of discovery that’s happening in the classroom with access to digital resources. And if the students know why they’re doing an activity, know how this information is going to affect their future, and can see how they’re doing, it cultivates a sense of responsibility and passion for their learning.”

Thomas and Edwards both agreed that rethinking learning requires educators to rethink assessments.

“We all know good questions when we hear them,” explained Thomas. “We can all see when higher learning skills are being put to use, but the problem we face is in measuring these things.”

Thomas gave an example of a reformed college student: “I had a student come up to me and say, ‘I never really understood what I was doing in college, what the purpose was. But thanks to your class, I’ve stopped drinking every day with my frat brothers, and I’ve started going to class more. I wanted to thank you, because now I know why I’m here and that I want to learn.’”

“What are the metrics for measuring that?” asked Thomas. “How do we assess change?”

The most important thing to remember when trying to re-imagine learning, he concluded, is this: “We don’t need to ‘make’ learning fun. Learning is inherently fun. We just need to keep it that way.”

Meris Stansbury

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