Educators Are Embracing This New Approach to Teaching

Over the past 100 years, several new methods of teaching rose, each claiming to be the best fit for students.

Now, the “Whole Brain Teaching” approach is rising as one of the leading methods of teaching, which according to some education experts, “taps into both the left and right hemispheres of the brain” known conventionally to each be responsible for the creative and logical processes of the brain, according to a recent article by Khaleej Times. [1]

By getting students involved physically in the subject they’re learning, through singing, or using hand gestures, they become interested, motivated and more emerged in the subject-matter.

How it works
Teachers can try the “Whole Brain Teaching” approach in the classroom to keep their students excited during their classes by following these techniques:

1. Set, mimic, repeat
Teachers who are able to grab the attention of their students and the entire class can improve levels of engagement. One way to do this is by repeating phrases or words together – and this is proven especially beneficial with language subjects. Another fun technique that teachers can also do is say ‘mirror, mirror’ and ask students to repeat what they were teaching at that moment.

2. Establish rules
As much as classrooms can encourage fun, they should also establish discipline and respect – both important life skills. By establishing a set of rules such as raising one’s hand before answering, students are more inclined to feel that they are part of a community, where there is coordination and purpose to their classroom.

3. Get physical
Teachers are encouraged to engage all five senses in the learning process, as it helps students retain and keep information, as well as feel more energetic towards the subject. One way to do this is by making students mimic the teacher’s moves during a dance.

For example, teachers can help students learn about body parts by singing and dancing along to a song that teaches body parts. Abjadiyat, an education platform that engages teachers, parents and students in learning the Arabic language has multiple informative and engaging videos, from sing-alongs to more, which you can find here.

4. Switch and surprise
Another way to encourage active learning within the classroom is to ‘switch’ between students by asking a student to repeat what the teacher said, then requesting the same of the student beside them.

5. Keep a scoreboard
Teachers can keep a scoreboard that encourages students to keep improving and work on the feedback they receive according to their performance in the classroom.

Keep these tips in mind
The “Whole Brain Teaching” approach follows a holistic outlook to teaching, wherein students learn about the subject matter, as well as behavior, life skills, and applications that they can use in their day-to-day activities. It also aims to:

• Encourage good behavior, not standards. An easy misconception to fall into as an educator is encouraging students to perform up to a certain level, when, instead, educators are recommended to encourage improved behavior.

Because every student ‘levels-up’ at per their own pace, it’s important to avoid encouraging only one type of performance – such as scoring 100/100. If one student would always score 70/100 and began scoring 75/100, this is improved behavior that should be encouraged. The same goes for drawing skills, handwriting, and more.

• Encourage teamwork, not individualism. As important as it is to equip students with the means to independently learn, it is essential to teach them 21st century skills such as communication, cooperation, and public speaking. By being a part of a group, students feel more involved.

• Encourage social skills, not seclusion. Teachers can hold activities in class that teach students good manners, such as sportsmanship and kindness. For example, a peer learning group wherein students teach other students from lower grades can benefit both parties, teaching patience and important life skills.

By encouraging students to engage all their senses within the classroom, they become more excited and motivated – as young students are active, and prefer movement rather than stagnant sitting all day. In addition, this helps students view the classroom as part of their life, rather than a separate activity.

For more tips on engaging your students in the classroom and around the Arabic language, read our blog.

Sources:
[1] “From spoon-feeding to active learning: How a technique reshaped classrooms” May 26, 2019, Khaleej Times.
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