How to Drive Students Towards Deep Understanding?
Education is no longer a spoon-feeding task. It would be a total waste of time and energy if one cannot put all the years of learning into some practical experience. Experts confirm that using problem-based strategies usually builds a constructive approach to work. In a study by a cognitive scientist and her colleagues found that problem-based learning will trigger expert-level understanding and thinking among students. The researchers looked at the Harvard Medical School curriculum as a reference that offers technology and problem-based learning to enrich the experiences of students
What Were The Findings to This Learning Experiment?
The Director of the Medscience noticed that since they started a problem-solving approach into their learning process, students’ mindset towards different assignments changed. They stopped waiting for a professor to help them guide through the results. Rather, they started looking for answers by themselves. They started discussing their thoughts, theories based on what they learned. And started taking risks. All of which was a sign for deep understanding or learning process.
To study this on an advanced level, scientists studied a group of 21 students from both private and public schools in Boston. And found that the creative approach used by the instructors for their students help them guide through the curriculum. And all of this made possible towards a shift from first-level learning to an expert level. Scaffolding helped students to experience different mindset for thinking or reasoning while working through problems. Here is how you can change the mindset to a differential level of thinking.
Ask Your Students to Think About The Problem
You should always encourage your students to include every part of the problem and seek information to clarify your answers or why you reached a particular solution. If something is wrong in their approach. Make them understand the context and answer all their queries with patience and humility. They must understand that there can be an “n” number of ways to reach a particular solution. This will help them to understand different patterns and a wide variety of possibilities. Understanding that what led you to reach a particular conclusion will help them clarify if they were right in their approach.
Start Asking Questions
It should be good if you ask your students’ different questions for them to figure out if they should reconsider their first approach. Students are trying to solve a problem, they can be right with their first solution. But, some student needs to understand that a harder way. They need to get into some research to help them understand different trends so that answers are much more relatable. For instance, asking questions like “can you elaborate more on that?” might help.
Ask Them to Learn From Their Experiences
There are many instances where the solution to the present query relies on the learning of the past. Encourage your students to retain whatever they learned so you are able to process things are quick. For example, asking your students if they have any idea about this solution from your earlier learning’s will help closing down on solutions pretty much faster.
Let Students Make Their Choices
Leave some space for students to let them make their choices. The role of a mentor is not to make decisions for them. Rather it just helps them make the right decisions. You can only guide them. Final choices should always be there. That way they will be able to make them experts rather than just followers who always do they are asked to do. For instance, handling your students the assignments and asking them how they are going to do that will help you understand their choices. And if they are on the right track.
Encourage Them to Take Risks
You should allow your students to take a bit of risk and never discourage them in the first go. This is how they will start learning ways to try new methods without any fear of judgments. For example, using words like, “Oh that’s a good idea, definitely worthy of further discussion.” By such a positive approach, students will start approaching problems in a completely different manner.
Boost Their Spirits With End Discussions
Make your students understand that they are not there just to compete. Rather that’s part of their learning process as well. So, give them some time after every class to discuss the learning during that day. By asking some questions related to the subject to help them understand any subject deeper and quicker. You can even discuss their feelings or performance or any other thought process that led to certain events.
Education is not something that must be taken casually. It’s your job as mentors and teachers to guide your students to the right ways of the learning process so that they have a better understanding of a subject. That’s how we can create future entrepreneurs, scientists, bureaucrats, and other leaders who can positively change the future of the countries across the globe.