How educators can maximize their impact on student learning

Posted on Monday, 4/29/2013 5:18 pm

No matter how old they are, students should never settle for mediocre grades or a limited grasp on academic subjects. Their educators should not settle for this level of performance from their pupils either. A good teacher knows that when it comes to their students' education, throwing in the towel is not an option. 

Of course, even though pupils may think their teachers have all the answers, this is not always the case. If educators are unsure as to how they can maximize their impact on student learning, they may want to consider the following three solutions:

The Common Core State Standards
States that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are already on their way to providing a higher quality of instruction that may have long-term benefits for those who receive it. That is because the CCSS were designed to give educators an understanding of the knowledge and skills their K-12 students will need to succeed in college and the workforce.

According to the CCSS' website, the standards do not tell educators how to teach, but they do define what students should be learning in the classroom. As a result, schools that fully implement the Common Core are starting with a strong foundation upon which instructors can build. So long as teachers are adhering to the CCSS, their students may not graduate from high school with unnecessary knowledge.

The Framework for 21st Century Skills
Similar to the CCSS, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' Framework for 21st Century Skills is designed to ensure that K-12 students are ready for tomorrow, and all the challenges it is sure to hold. When teachers turn to the organization's Framework for 21st Century Skills, they could be taking a step that can enhance the impact they have on their pupils.

According to the Partnership's website, following the Framework could provide students with learning outcomes in four separate areas: Life and career skills; learning and innovation skills; information, media and technology skills; and core subjects and 21st century themes. To arrive at these outcomes, the Framework focuses on four types of support systems: Learning environments; professional development; curriculum and instruction; and standards and assessments. Embracing any one of these support systems could help teachers maximize the effectiveness of the instruction they deliver.

Technological resources
In households and businesses across the nation, technology has streamlined the ways people handle everyday tasks. As a result, it should come as no surprise that different types of technology, such as computers and student software, can enhance pupils' grasp on academic subjects.

According to a report from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the State Educational Technology Directors Association and the International Society for Technology in Education, technology has the potential to energize classroom teaching. However, the report states that technology must be used comprehensively and purposefully for it to have a positive impact.

Whether teachers embrace the benefits of a virtual classroom or purchase software for students, they should think about how taking instruction to technological level can influence pupils' academic success.

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