In many ways, building a classroom is comparable to building a small society. There are social norms, expectations and habits. Everyone has his or her roles within the classroom, as individuals would in a society. The leader of the classroom is the teacher, who can choose to oversee his or her small community using whichever tactics he or she sees as most effective. A classroom can have a dictator as a teacher or a teacher who prefers a more democratic environment.
The learning culture of a classroom directly affects the tone and can determine teacher-student relationships and performance outcomes. If an instructor creates a positive culture of learning and sustains that type of environment, the students will be more engaged in the learning process and therefore will be likely to produce more favorable academic outcomes. Teachers are responsible for the tone of their classrooms.
Some in the education field may believe that students are a reflection of their teachers because they adapt to their personality. A more outgoing teacher may have a more relaxed group of students, while the teacher who is very structured may have a serious and quiet group of students. Professional development can help educators learn methods of creating a learning culture within their classroom that will allow the students to have positive feelings about learning. Students may retain and recall information from academic material more successfully if they have a positive experience with which to associate that learned concept.
The culture of the classroom depends on many factors, from the seating arrangements of the students to what resources are available to enhance the learning process. In addition to considering a graduate-level program in curriculum and instruction, teachers can also get to know their students in order to decide what type of culture would best suit their classroom. The culture could possibly prove to be ineffective if the students disagree or are disengaged.
Connecting students to their work and letting them take ownership
Individuals of all ages can relate to the internal fulfillment of accomplishing a goal. To be intrinsically motivated is the pivotal step to self-affirmation. If asked, many students may not be able to identify why they are learning what they are being taught. Possible responses could include: "to get an A" or "because my teacher said that it would be on the test". It is imperative that teachers educate their students about the value of what they are learning.
Real-world preparation is the main objective of school. Students are obtaining knowledge in a variety of subject areas in order to become productive individuals within society. A knowledgeable and educated professional may teach his or her students to take personal ownership of their work within the classroom. In order for this advanced and desirable step of learning to take place, the teacher should first create a connection between the academic material and the student. When a student is unable to connect to a lesson, he or she develops a negative association to it. It is important that teachers relate the course material to the learning styles and interests of learners, to avoid the students rejecting the material. Modeling and showing students a new skill, helping them through their execution and then allowing them to explore their abilities independently is a critical process across all content areas and ages of education. A classroom culture that contains a facilitator more so than a teacher is a culture of learning that would likely produce innovative, self-sufficient and confident individuals.
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