How to nurture individual learning in your classroom

By | 2017-09-23T03:15:34+00:00 July 4th, 2017|For teachers|0 Comments

Over the past decade or so, there’s been a substantial increase in standardized testing, assessment and curriculum. The National Board for Teaching Standards states that, “The most commonly used measure of student achievement is a standardized test. Such standardized assessments measure specific areas of achievement — for example, the extent to which a 3rd grader has mastered the English/Language Arts standards in his or her state or district…” It begs the question, is standardized education a best practice for all teaching environments?

Teachers argue that standardized testing limits the ways in which students can learn, think critically and creatively, and problem-solve. Teaching through standardized curriculums facilitates learning through a prescribed set of rules, rather than intrinsic motivations, investigation and analysis. Besides, many teachers feel that students have a wider range of knowledge than what is reflected through their standardized tests and assessments.

Nurturing students’ individuality allows them to gain knowledge through exploration and discovery

Rather than instituting a collective approach to teaching, teachers can give students the freedom to hone in on their own individual talents and potentials. In order to help students realize these potentials, they should be encouraged to expand their curiosity, ask questions, think creatively and use their imaginations. Individual thinkers develop the ability to “think outside of the box” and find alternative solutions when tackling problems. They gain social skills, like empathy, communication and compromise.

A fundamental part of learning for children is the ability to play, discover what excites them, find out what bores them, and, without guidance, find out how to be interested again. When teachers allow students to recognize their own individual capabilities, they have free reign to achieve this.

Creatubbles promotes individualistic learning by allowing students to connect with engaging material on their own terms

Giving students a wide range of interesting content to select from gives students the freedom to engage in the lesson in the most effective way for themselves. For example, when covering metamorphosis, students who learn from Q&A types of discussions may most effectively learn by connecting with entomologists. Others may thrive by researching specific chrysalises and creating their own biological sketches. Younger students might benefit from visiting a butterfly habitat and then creating their own models from clay.

Sketch of a butterfly

“Butterfly” was made by creator Aikol, in Thailand, at 11 years old. The creations is featured in the Teaching for Artistic Behavior gallery on Creatubbles.
The goal for the gallery: “Students in Grades 1-8 engage in the teaching for artistic behavior curriculum. Classes begin with short introductions on artists, art movements, or art techniques. Students may chose to follow the introduction, or go in their own pathway. This promotes authentic learning and empowers children to make their own choices. Classroom is set up station-based, giving students plenty of differentiation in material choices.”

Creatubbles is a great tool to help students work independently. Even with guidelines, such as a lesson on metamorphosis, students can easily find topics by utilizing the search bar and filtering features. This amazing butterfly creation, for instance, comes from a 15 year old creator in Turkey. Students leave questions in the comments section about the creation itself, or ask about butterflies in whichever region in Turkey the creator is from. Does the creator know anything about their gestation periods or migration patterns? What is their favorite Turkish butterfly?

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Individualistic societies have a major impact on student learning

Geert Hofstede takes an interesting look at how individualist cultures focus on education. In collective societies, teachers are more dominant. Their job is to teach and lecture. Individualist teachers want to be challenged by their students. They encourage their students to offer their own thoughts and opinions.

In individualist societies, students expect to learn how to learn. They are more apt to speaking in large groups or in front of the class when invited by the teacher. When running into a conflict, individualist students feel comfortable discussing it and learning from the situation. And ultimately, students find that acquiring knowledge is more important than earning degrees or certificates.

Teachers should recognize which types of societies their students most relate to and assign activities accordingly. On Creatubbles, students who are accustomed to sitting quietly in group discussions may feel more comfortable putting on a digital exhibition of their findings. Whereas, students who are more outgoing might create their own global initiative for schools to join.

Help your students to learn through fun, engaging and independent approaches by creating Creatubbles accounts for your classes.

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Creatubblesとは、すべての年齢のクリエイターが使える安全なグローバルソーシャルプラットフォーム。あらゆる種類の作品を保存・共有・発見し、作品を通して交流しよう。

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Tish Seabrook. Copywriter at Creatubbles. Writer and former university lecturer. Interests: edtech, STEAM, arts integration. https://ctbl.es/tishseabrook