The Learning Pyramid
Effective teachers understand that all students have different strengths and needs. They design theirprogramming based upon their insights about students. All effective teachers understand that there aresome basic learning needs that are shared by all students. They are:
All students want to be accepted for who they are
- Students need to believe that they will beaccepted rather than judged. Acceptance will allow them to take risks without fear of failure andridicule.
All students want to learn and be better than they are
- Students have inquiring minds thatneed to be engaged in interesting activities. They have a thirst for new information and will beexcited about new and interesting learning opportunities. Students take pride in theiraccomplishments and build upon their successes.
All students need guidance to learn and improve, both academically and socially
- Both socialand academic growth is possible if students are given the information they need to make smartchoices. Students need guidance and support to appropriately scaffold their learning in order tomove ahead academically. An effective teacher is always aware of each student's gaps inknowledge and is able to provide the next step. If a student makes a poor social choice, it canalso be treated as a learning experience. This is an opportunity for you to model patience, calmand logical thinking to resolve a difficult situation. In this way, students learn to resolveproblems effectively and calmly. They also learn that mistakes are not disasters, butopportunities for discovery and redirection.
All students learn better when they are actively involved
- Research clearly indicates thatstudents learn more when they are actively involved in the learning activity. Research alsoindicates that learning retention increases when students actively apply new skills, discuss newconcepts with others and participate in activities that allow them to explore new ideas anddemonstrate learning in their preferred style.
All students learn better when the material is meaningful to their lives
- Students are betterable to make sense of ideas that have relevance to their lives. New material can be more easilylearned if the student sees how it relates to information he/she already possesses or conceptsthat he/she already understands.
All students will respond to achievable challenges
- Even struggling students will becomeengaged in activities that they perceive to be attainable.Meeting the common needs of students in your classroom can be accomplished by ensuring thatstudents feel valued and by designing learning activities that ensure student engagement and theconsolidation of learning. As early as the 1950s, research demonstrates which instructional strategiesbest consolidate learning and ensure retention of material. The following diagram illustrates whichstrategies are most effective.