By Teachers, For Teachers
Learning comes in many different shapes and forms, and there are numerous ways you can approach it using various classroom management techniques. Each person’s view on what learning should look like depends on her value of it and experience with it. While one person may believe in a teacher-led approach to learning, another may believe in a student-led approach. We all have our own opinions when it comes to how children should best learn, and there is no right or wrong way. Here we’ll take a look at 15 different classroom management approaches to learning, with each one being unique in its own way.
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is essentially a classroom management approach to learning where students are given a real-world problem, and they must work together with their peers to find a solution. This approach promotes the development of critical-thinking skills, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. One thing that teachers like the most about this approach to learning is that with a little bit of creativity, any subject can be adapted to PBL.
Technology is ubiquitous, and teachers who use this approach to learning believe in utilizing everything that technology has to offer. Using technology in the classroom is a great way to keep even kids with notoriously short attention spans focused and engaged on the topic you’re addressing.
Educators who support the Common Core believe these standards were put into place to ensure all students have the skills that will prepare them for the future. While this approach to learning has taken a lot of heat, supporters believe it will force education into the 21st century and beyond. It’s also more student-driven.
In our society, wherever we go, our smartphones go, which means anything that we are curious to learn about we can easily look up on our mobile device. Mobile learning is using portable devices like smartphones, iPads, and laptops to extend learning beyond the classroom. It’s a new way to give instructors the flexibility to teach outside the four walls of school.
Flexible learning is essentially adapting learning experiences to fit the needs of the learner. It offers students more choices, and a personal approach to learning. While flexible learning has been more suited for adult learners, today’s students of all ages are now reaping the benefits. Flexible seating has become the new fad in classrooms, offering students a variety of different seating options that makes it more comfortable to learn. Educators who support this learning approach appreciate how today’s youth can learn when, where, and how they are best suited.
Gamification is applying the elements of video game playing to activities and lessons as a means to engage learners. Educators who use this approach think that by incorporating game-like elements into the classroom, where students can “Unlock” the next level of their assignment once they have completed their task. It might just be the key you need to keep your students engaged.
Blended learning involves combining a variety of different components into your educational approach. For example, your classes can integrate face-to-face interaction with remote online learning, or combine technology like working on a computer in class with more-traditional teaching methods. The one critical component is that students have some control over their learning, whether it be the time, place, or pace at which they complete their work.
Traditionally, education has always been geared toward teaching the masses. However, in today’s classrooms, the next big thing in education is personalized learning. This approach to learning addresses the needs, interests, and aspirations of the individual student. Educators who believe and use this approach in their classroom believe there is no longer a need for a “One-size-fits-all” approach to learning any longer.
A flipped classroom essentially “Flips” learning around. Instead of learning in the classroom, the students learn the information at home, and use this knowledge to work with their peers in the classroom. The teacher then acts as a guide, or helps to fill in any blanks or questions the students have from what they learned at home. One of the many benefits of this approach is that students get to work at their own pace, which can be great for students who struggle to keep up. It also allows students to collaborate and learn from their peers.
A traditional classroom is a teacher-led classroom, where the students sit in rows and the teacher stands in the front of the classroom lecturing them. Teachers who stand by this approach to learning argue that it has worked for decades, so they don’t feel the need to change it.
Educators that utilize this approach to learning do not like to be confined to the walls of their classroom, and like to take learning outside, where their students can learn from the world around them. What you should know about this approach is that it does not fit into the mainstream of what you might think school should look like. Students learn through passion projects and inquiry -- they visit museums and participate in hands-on work. Every element of this approach is designed to get students to think and act like learners.
Educators who believe in this approach to learn would suggest that individualism in schools just may be the downfall for today’s schools. They believe that a collective education, where children learn from one another, is a more effective and beneficial way to learn. Being exposed to a group of learners with the same interest is one of the many benefits of this approach to learning.
Social Media is not here to replace traditional classrooms -- it’s designed to supplement them. Instead of just utilizing technologies like smartboards and iPads, teachers who use this approach believe that using social media and all of its components, like discussions boards, interactive forums, and blog posts, will help students thrive in school.
In self-directed learning, the individual or students takes the lead role and responsibility for their own learning. For students, this means developing and pursing personal challenges and activities that they are interested in. For teachers, this means acting as a guide and supporting and encouraging their students.
In today’s society, our students are exposed to so many unpleasant things on the Internet that it takes a lot to develop character. Educators that strongly believe in developing students’ character believe that it should be implemented into just about every subject. When teachers do implement character education into their curriculum, research shows that schools will have more parental involvement, less behavior issues, and improved academic performance.
As you can see, there are numerous approaches to learning, and these are just a few of them. As we move toward a new future, one where technology continues to be at the forefront of learning, approaches will change and adapt, and teachers will too.
What is your favorite approach to learning? Share your classroom management ideas with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.