If you consider yourself as a forward-thinking educator, then you should help your students, regardless of their age, to become “rule breakers” – that is, breaking the rules of traditional learning by encouraging them to not simply memorize facts and regurgitate course materials. Deep-level learning is really what you should cultivate in your students. This includes not only mastery of essential academic content, but also the skill to think critically and solve complex problems, to work collaboratively and communicate effectively, and to learn independently.
So, how do you do it? What steps should you take to foster deep-level learning in your students?
Keep reading to find out!
Encourage them to expand their minds
Ask open-ended questions to encourage your students to think about what they don’t know. This way, they will gain a level of awareness above the subject matter and look for new connections and patterns. For example, ask: What are other factors that might have caused this, but you’re not aware of?
Encourage them to dig into their knowledge base
Prompt your students with open-ended questions, but this time, keep in mind that your goal is to make them reflect on what they already know – whether that’s from course materials, their own experience, or what’s currently happening in the real world.
Encourage them to lead the way
Your role as a tutor, mentor, or guide is to help your students hone in their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, so eventually they can learn independently as early as possible. Provide them with the right tools to help them find solutions to solve problems; this includes how and where to find resources, how to take good notes, how to develop opinions that are logical and backed by evidence, how to study effectively for exams, and more. Again, prompt them with open-ended questions in helping them to think outside of the box when it comes to problem-solving.
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