Some students seem to breeze through their school years, whereas others struggle, putting them at risk for getting lost in our educational system and not reaching their full potential. Parents and teachers want to help students succeed, but there is little guidance on which learning techniques are the most effective for improving educational outcomes. This leads students to implement studying strategies that are often ineffective, resulting in minimal gains in performance. What then are the best strategies to help struggling students learn?

The real-world guidance provided by this report is based on psychological science, making it an especially valuable tool for students, parents, and teachers who wish to promote effective learning. Although there are many reasons why students struggle in school, these learning techniques, when used properly, should help provide meaningful gains in classroom performance, achievement test scores, and many other tasks students will encounter across their lifespan.

The one sided lecture methods are no more fruitful to get the interest of the new generation students. They would better respond well to the active learning strategies. Don’t limit their learning hour to simple note taking and doing assignments. Give them opportunities to express their talents and have some fun time and make learning more enjoyable. Bringing visual tools and proposing age related activities can really make a difference in the way students express themselves.

Teaching them how to manage their time efficiently is the key to successful classroom learning. Give them time bounded activities so that they can challenge themselves to complete a task within the stipulated time frame. This kind of basic classroom learning also teaches them the importance of prioritizing the time effectively in their life too.

It is good to include some brain storming sessions in the classroom when students can challenge their thinking process. Give them puzzles or interesting activities in which they need to apply their thought process. This would stimulate their brain and makes them active and energized to receive new lessons. Creative sessions can also be included which challenges their critical thinking and logical reasoning.

Having students vote anonymously on what they perceive as the best explanation/answer to a question,followed by opportunities to discuss their ideas with peers, and then to vote again leads to greater learning of the material. It is important to have students discuss why they think their explanation is the most accurate and also why the other explanations proposed are not accurate. It is also important that the teacher looks at the polling results and listens to the reasoning of the students in order to determine what further explanations and summary might need to be made in lecture.

Pausing in lecture
These strategies work towards inserting wait time in lectures for students to reflect on, discuss and apply ideas just presented and to encourage them to engage actively in the lecture rather than passively taking notes. These strategies also help students to understand what they do and don’t understand about the lecture. Ask students to not take notes as you work through a problem on the board with the class,followed by 5 minutes for them to copy down board and discuss the problem/chemical reaction/process with peers.

Teachers should make use of any means to facilitate learning and boost learners’ self-esteem. One important way of boosting learners’ self-esteem is by linking new input to familiar or old knowledge. By linking the students’ known knowledge of familiar lexical or grammatical items to new knowledge or information being disseminated the effective teacher can not only facilitate understanding but also retention of meaning of new information.

The schema theory postulates that in order to facilitate reading and comprehension on the part of learners the language teacher should carefully select texts which are familiar. In this way links can be made with known knowledge or existing schemas.

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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