How to Create a Desire for Learning in Students
When we talk about the teaching-learning process, we can’t leave out the need to create a desire for learning in students. Teaching is about a lot more than just expecting students to mechanically memorize and accumulate information.
For example, students may know a lot about a specific historical event. They may know who participated in the event, when it took place, where it took place, etc. However, that doesn’t mean they really understand its significance.
We don’t often equate not knowing something with being curious or with children’s desire to learn. A lack of knowledge is something that can evolve into a need to learn – or not. It’s hard to develop a curiosity for something when you don’t even know it exists.
Therefore, if we aren’t curious about learning, then it will be hard, for example, to ask the right questions and to think of topics for possible projects in order to develop content or carry out more profound learning.
There comes a time when students can no longer tolerate not knowing something. A moment when their curiosity awakens. And this curiosity becomes the principle foundation of their teaching-learning process.
To create a desire for learning in students, this need to learn, we can implement several strategies. We’ll go over them below.
To begin, let’s think about students that lack motivation and have a hard time following the rhythm of the class. They become disappointed, their grades don’t improve, they know it, and they don’t advance. To find a solution for these cases, we can use positive reinforcement.
This involves positively supporting all of the attitudes that you want to reinforce. For example, we can reinforce the times that these students demonstrate interest, and value these attitudes more than the results themselves. In doing so, we encourage them to keep trying, not give up, and to look for new solutions.
Show your own interest to create a desire for learning in students
The desire for learning is contagious. So, something that works very well to help motivate students is to express your own interest in something. If our students observe us talking about something we love, our enthusiasm will spread.
As a result, they’ll likely be more interested in learning about the topic. Disinterest and lack of enthusiasm are major enemies when it comes to the teaching-learning process.
It’s important to discover and learn more about our students’ interests. This isn’t just a matter of talking about a topic they like. We can discover more about it, focusing on each little detail that will get their excitement. All of this will help get them motivated and produce a desire to learn.
Therefore, it’s important to get to know your students, talk with them, and listen to what they tell you. Concentrating on the theory of multiple intelligences, we can make this much simpler. We just need to focus on the intelligence that each student has most developed and work with it.
Learning is discovering
The idea of learning each day in the classroom should be exciting. It’s a matter of motivating students so that they want to be in class… So that they want to be active in the classroom. To achieve this, we need to start by creating expectations and making students feel like active participants in the learning process.
A good option for this that tends to work well is using learning through projects, cooperating with classmates, researching together, discovering things… All of this increases individual and group motivation among students.
You can even set aside a specific amount of time in each class for students to work on these projects. All of them will eagerly await the arrival of that moment each day.
How to create a desire for learning in students: ICT is your ally
ICT – Information and Communication Technology – always captures the attention of students. You can take advantage of this interest in order to get students more involved in whatever you’re teaching at the time. That way, they’ll better recall what they saw the day they used ICT. And, therefore, you’ll reinforce learning.
You can present content by using ICTs and encourage students to use them. For example, in order to expand on the content of a lesson they’ve already looked at.
In conclusion, to create a desire for learning in students and spark their interest, you should try to make it happen intrinsically. The goal is for children to be genuinely enthusiastic about learning.
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- Urdan, Tim, y Erin Schoenfelder. (2006). Classroom effects on student motivation: Goal structures, social relationships, and competence beliefs. Journal of school psychology.