Motivating and engaging students is the goal of most teachersâ€“priming them to receive instruction, or otherwise align themselves to a pre-set process youâ€™ve sketched out that you hope will yield a learning goal you selected beforehand. But Iâ€™ve also been thinking recently of how learning actually happensâ€“the causes of learning. Learning events, maybe. Eh.
So I came up with 60 (of millions) of these â€œlearning eventsâ€ (for lack of a better term)â€“circumstances in which students seem to learn effortlessly. They can learn when they are coercedâ€“to start, to increase the pace, to finish, to revisit. But what kind of conditions or contexts promote effortless learning? Learning when they donâ€™t even know itâ€™s happening? When theyâ€™re (essentially) tricked into deep understanding?
How does this happenâ€“especially when you have a very specific daily learning target youâ€™re trying to meet in pursuit of an academic standard? Thatâ€™s where curriculum mapping, learning models, and lesson design come in. For now, consider the following events as examples. Templates. They may not lead to the precise mastery of the standard or objective in your Carnegie unit or Hunterâ€™s lesson plan, but theyâ€™re thinking. And in these cases, rather than following your trails of breadcrumbs, theyâ€™re actually thinking for themselves.