Utilizing Effective Educational Content To Meet Students Where They Are

Learn about using educational content to meet students where they are
Contributed By

Lauren Davis

EdTech Editor, Former Department Chair and Instructional Coach

Utilizing Effective Educational Content To Meet Students Where They Are

Posted in Pro Tips | October 08, 2018

Competency-based learning, or the idea of meeting students where they are, is not a new concept in education. And while many argue that it should be a fundamental commitment in any institution, meeting students where they are is often viewed as both conservative and avant-garde. On one hand, there’s no data stating that students excel in a system that passes them along with little concern for their unmet needs, but on the other hand we know it requires getting to know our students much more thoroughly——to truly meet students where they are and place the learning process at the center of our pedagogical model.

The question of whether students are learning at the appropriate level and how to tell remains a heavily deliberated subject. The fact is, meeting students where they are means continually responding to students’ individual needs in a manner that fosters optimal growth. So, relevant educational content is a major key.

Xổ số TP Vinh tuần trướcLet’s explore the tell-tale signs that let you know the content used to communicate with and teach students is actually meeting students where they are.

Students Demonstrate A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the idea that —they understand that their brain is malleable. Contrarily, students with a fixed mindset believe their potential for success depends on whether or not they already possess a combination of static talents and skills. The latter group of students are more likely to view mistakes as failures and are often tempted to give up when the content they’re presented with is too hard.

Consuming and working with educational content that is relevant and appropriate is motivating to students. That feeling of “I can do this!Xổ số TP Vinh tuần trước” leads to accepting challenges head-on and even seeking out opportunities to gain new knowledge and broaden their skills.

Effective Educational Content Activates Prior Knowledge

Xổ số TP Vinh tuần trướcUsing what students already know is a solid strategy for helping them learn something new, since it acts as a foundation on which to build and a connection to make sense of new concepts. When students have access and exposure to multiple, varied content that explicitly builds on their prior knowledge, they are able engage in meaningful and lasting learning.

Xổ số TP Vinh tuần trướcIf students aren’t exposed to content that activates prior knowledge, they may fall subject to what Brazilian educational theorist Paulo Freire refers to as “” in pedagogy. This is when we treat students as if they are empty vessels simply waiting to be filled with the knowledge and experiences of the teacher. In a scenario like this, the content used wouldn’t matter, because the students—no matter where they are academically—are all treated like containers to be filled by rote memorization and repetition.

Luckily, with the onset of blending learning and the immense growth in the understanding of the field of education, we know better. We know that the educational content we present to students can elevate their understanding or completely lose them. So, if our content is meeting students where they are, we should be able to observe them connecting the dots between things they have learned or experienced with the new content we present to them.

Content Encourages Students To Come Up With Their Own Questions

Content that is relevant and interesting to students encourages them to come up with their own questions. Student generated questions demonstrate a deeper level of understanding and ultimately develop more independent learners. Regardless of the content’s topic, learning is driven by inquiry, so when students generate their own questions about a text or topic, it arouses interest and provides a purpose for learning.

Students Are Able To Transfer Concepts and Skills to New Domains and Contexts

When students fully own a concept or skill, they’re able to use it in various settings for different purposes. Appropriate content helps students master those skills and concepts, so that they’re able to apply and demonstrate learning in meaningful ways.

Xổ số TP Vinh tuần trướcBecause learning consists of both constructing meaning and constructing systems of meaning, it’s even more obvious when the content is missing the mark. Although a rudimentary example—if a group of elementary students are learning the names of the states in alphabetical order, they are not simply learning the states, but the meaning of alphabetical. If there are students in class that are not yet aware of the meaning of “state” they may need scaffolded content before they’re able to organize foods or animals alphabetically.

Ultimately, by meeting students where they are, teachers can make informed, strategic decisions about the content to be taught and ensure that it aligns with student’s interests and overall learning goals.

Join the Conversation