The role of the educator in the lives of students is very important. The first impression students form of their courses goes a long way to affect their input into their studies as the journey learning progresses. The introductions of the course by the educator, the involvement of his students, the contents of the curriculum are factors that determine the success of the student.
Students are either motivated or not motivated to study by the atmosphere created by the educator in the classroom. On the commencement of the new course the educator needs to capture the attention of his students by establishing “a tone of enticement” (Perkins, 2009 p. 63). This can be accomplished by getting the students involved right from the onset; allowing them to give their opinion about what they think about the course and what kind of expectations they have. The educator can arouse the interest of the students when he assures them that he as an educator will be gaining a lot from their input. In other words the educator does not have all the answers to the questions. The collaboration from the educator and the students will determine the success of the learning process. For instance, when a new puzzle is presented to a class of two year olds, an educator can adopt the approach of students-educator coming together to fix it. This will create the impression that the lecturer does not know it all and is willing to help the students solve it and on the other hand, the students are not frustrated thinking they are going to fix the puzzle entirely on their own.
Another important factor that gets students interested in what they are learning is the contents of a curriculum. There is the need for a “…connected rather than a disconnected curriculum, a curriculum full of knowledge of the right kind to link rightly to future insights…” (Perkins, 2009 p. 57). Students will show more interest in a topic under discussion when they are challenged to think of the direct impact the topic has on their lives and their society. As Perkins puts it education should “enlighten”, “empower” and cause the student to take “responsibility” (Perkins, 2009 p. 61). The knowledge passed on from the lecturer to the learner should have these 3 components. The students should gain an understanding of what they are being taught. The information should give them the appropriate ideas to look for in similar situations and then take the necessary action when the need arises.
An educator needs to portray the right emotions when teaching. When educators show interest and enthusiasm in what they are presenting, students’ are more likely to participate in discussions and activities. Students are more likely to “…remember better emotionally arousing information, including emotionally charged stories, film clips, pictures, and words…” (Pessoa, 2009). The ability for the students to retain the information gained in the classroom depends to a large extent on how the information is presented. Illustrations used in the classroom should appeal to all different learning types which are “active, reflective, intuitive, sensing, visual, verbal, sequential and global learners”. (Felder & Solomon, 2003).
One other major factor educators need to work on is helping the students deal with “hard parts”. (Perkins, 2009 p. 10) According to Perkins in his book “Making Learning Whole”, students are not given enough opportunity to work on the “hard parts”. The hard parts are the errors students make constantly and which they have not the slightest clue as to how to correct them. Educators can help students deal with these areas by creating the right time to have students work on their areas of difficulties. It may require a little bit of sacrifice from the educator who may need to stay late and offer tutorials for students to gain a better understanding or the educator may recommend a special program that can help the student work independently and at their own pace to better themselves. With the latter, the educator must do well to follow up to see how well the students have improved. Educators could also do “on-going assessment”. (Perkins, 2009 p. 83). This assessment is different from the regular assessment done to see how well students are progressing. On-going assessment involves assessing the activities the students engage in to ensure “learning is stronger”. One strategy that can be used to ensure learning is strong is by engaging in “peer and self assessment”. (Perkins, 2009 p. 84). Students will be assessed by their fellow students when given projects and assignments. This takes some of the burden of the educator who is pressed may be pressed for time.
When educators take it upon themselves to address the topics discussed above, students will have a better learning experience.
Felder R. M. & Solomon B. A. (2013). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved
June 2nd 2013 from
Perkins D. (2009). Making learning whole. How seven principles of teaching can
transform education San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Pessoa L. (2009). Cognition and emotion. Scholarpedia 4 (1):4567. Retrieved June
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecfqlxi7lvw .This video gives practical examples why teachers need to keep their students motivated and engaged when presenting their course.