How to stimulate millennial learners
the Teacher reporter
Designing physical learning spaces is vital as it can impact learners’ positive behaviour and promote their active participation and engagement
Deciding which strategies to deploy in the classroom remains one of the daunting tasks teachers face all the time. It is no longer about using the same teaching technique to fit all the situations – today’s teacher has to be creative and dynamic. Studies recommend teaching styles that suit a “millennial” learner who performs and responds well to a stimulating and collaborative learning environment.
Steel Education, “a dedicated group within the Steelcase that is exclusively focused on education”, recently conducted a research on classroom space optimisation. It highlighted this as a critical area that is often overlooked even though there is evidence it can influence learners’ “positive behavioural patterns” in the classroom. According to the research “static, lecture mode type of teaching is no longer adequate”; instead consideration should be given to how the physical learning area is designed as this can act as either a “support or a barrier”. The research recommends “constructivist” approach to enable teachers to engage effectively with learners.
It also stressed the significance of the “configuration of the physical learning space” and that this can be used as a “strategic asset” to make learning enjoyable to learners. To ensure the learning space is dynamic and also cater for a more fluid yet collaborative and engaging environment, teachers need to employ “varied teaching strategies”. The research identified three vital aspects: pedagogy, technology and space, to help teachers design a classroom that promotes positive learner engagement.
According to the research, it is important for teachers to remember that “active learning environment” not only increases learner engagement but also enables deeper learning. The three basic areas (pedagogy, technology and space), according to the research, “must all intersect in order to make a significant contribution to the education process”.
As a teacher you should not “let the allure of technology overwhelm your space or allow practices that are most comfortable with you to stop you from trying a new style. Make space work for you through intentional planning and design”, concluded the report.