Inspire your students for years through strategic lesson planning!
Contrary to current formal education systems, the learning process does not culminate with written tests in the school of life. This is why embedding a lifelong learning mindset amongst students is important to spark curiosity beyond formal education. It doesn’t matter how old your students are, or where they live. You can introduce lifelong learning in your classroom at any time. It’s an important part of a well-rounded education and can benefit students of all ages and interests.
In this blog, we discuss 6 practices you as an educator can use to facilitate lifelong learning in the classroom and beyond:
#1: Foster Innovation Through Creativity and Agency
Students can learn a lot by self-exploring new ways to express themselves. Independence fostered through creative activities such as art, music, and technology can help students reflect on their own interests and hobbies. International Comprehensive’s (IC) course “Embracing Creativity and Agency” enables educators to mold their students into responsible, entrepreneurial and innovative individuals who aren’t afraid to take on challenges. Learn tools and best practices to design lessons to foster ownership driven creative exploration in your classroom!
#2: Plan Impactful Learning Experiences Through Play
Play is an important part of a child’s development, and it can also be a great way to introduce new concepts and skills. You don’t need special equipment or materials to conduct a play-based learning experience. You can use everyday objects, like paper and crayons, to create fun learning activities. This is a great way to develop skills, such as focus and attention, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Play can also help students improve their social and emotional skills. IC’s course on “Planning Powerful Learning Experiences” not only introduces universal lesson design approaches but also challenges the status quo of what classroom learning currently looks like. Take a thought provoking journey to explore new approaches to learning and seamlessly execute powerful learning experiences.
#3: Facilitate Learning as a Process of Inquiry and Curiosity
Curiosity and inquiry are important throughout a student’s life, and these skills can help students navigate the complex world they live in. Curiosity is an important part of learning because it pushes students to seek out new information and explore new ideas. Curiosity is also a great way to help students develop empathy and understanding for others. Curiosity can be encouraged in your classroom by facilitating hands-on activities, like creating a science fair project or learning how to conduct a research project. “Learning as an Inquiry Process” is a hands-on course to guide skill development, critical thinking and problem solving in the classroom. Learn how to create classroom environments so students engage with topics and concepts in a meaningful way.
#4: Incorporate Visible Thinking Practices In Early Stages of Learning
When trying to introduce lifelong learning in your classroom, educators must remember to keep it authentic. Incorporating visible thinking strategies from early childhood can help students develop a lifelong love of learning. IC’s “Visible Thinking in Early Learning Classrooms” enables educators to design and apply best-fit thinking routines on a daily basis. Harvard’s Project Zero defines thinking routines as patterns through which teachers and students coexist and go about learning and working together in classroom environments.
“Visual thinking routines are designed in such a manner to serve different purposes in the classroom: routines for introducing and exploring ideas, routines for synthesizing and organizing ideas, and routines for digging deeper into ideas”
Visual Thinking Routines: Classroom Snapshots | Athens Journal of Education
IC’s course helps you incorporate visual thinking routines in classroom life to be as close to a child’s out-of-school life to create uniformity in lifelong learning practices.
#5: Integrate Lifelong Competencies in the Curriculum
Lifelong competencies are the skills, knowledge, and abilities that students need throughout all stages of their lives. Individuals navigate many different situations across different contexts throughout the journey of life. When using competencies as a framework, you can help students understand how to respond to these different situations. Through IC’s course on Lifelong Competencies, you can develop ways to integrate competencies such as self-awareness, self-expression, communication, problem solving, and resiliency into everyday learning. You can help students understand how to apply these skills when they’re in a social setting, at school, or when navigating a new situation.
#6: Be a Lifelong Learner Yourself
If you’re looking for ways to introduce lifelong learning in your classroom, consider starting with yourself. Be open to new ideas and innovations. Many teachers tend to fall into routines and repeat mistakes from their own education. As you become a lifelong learner, you’ll see opportunities to try new things and experiment with new teaching methods. As you continue to learn, you’ll be able to share these new ideas with your students and spark their curiosity with new ways of thinking. After all, teaching in the 21st Century is a lifelong learning process.