Taking a Step Beyond Traditional Teaching

Today we’re going to talk a bit about moving a little beyond the traditional linear teaching and learning method. This linear process being composed of three essential steps:

  1. Lesson (lecture, reading, etc.)
  2. Practice
  3. Test

These steps have been in place for a long time, and with good reason. When you boil education down the bare bones of it are learning something new, practicing the new thing, and making sure you’ve mastered the new thing. Simple, effective, basic. But what if we went beyond these typical constructs in a way that could both encourage students in their learning endeavors, but also foster creativity and self-driven motivation? Well, we’ve got some tips for you to take that next step forward.

  1. Make it necessary to progress: This isn’t to say that you should give students bad grades or punish them or anything of the sort. Rather we mean that if a student is going to find motivation internally to learn and develop, you’ve got to make it necessary to master a skill before moving on. Sort of the same idea as working through math problems with multiple steps. They can’t move on to the next step until they’ve completed the one before it. And simply suggesting they finish their current step often just won’t cut it.
  2. Allow students to see their progress: Visible rewards and progression are fantastic motivation for moving forward. Ambiguous concepts of moving forward are neither particularly helpful nor motivating. This connects to the first tip, which is to say, as students progress from one “step” or skill to the next, let them see what they have accomplish. Give them something tangible to pat themselves on the back for.
  3. Build, build, build: Have each new skill build on the ones that have come before it. By continuously utilizing what has been learned in the past, students will be much less likely to forget anything and much more prepared to move forward.

Do you have any tips for moving beyond traditional teaching? Share them with us in the comments!