Over the years, educators and researchers have searched for timeless principles that enable an educator or mentor to impact a student and make their training stick. If you are a teacher, a coach, a youth worker or…simply care about connecting with kids, check out the following ideas. Below are six conclusions from leading researchers and authors today.
1. Personal Validation – Student success is more likely when students feel personally significant, i.e. when they are treated as whole persons and recognized as unique individuals that matter to the school. (Rendon, 1994 / Schlossberg, Lynch and Chickering, 1989)
2. Personal Meaning – Student success is promoted when students find meaning or purpose in their college experience and see relevant connections between college, personal life and future goals. (Ryan and Deci, 2000 / Wlodkowski, 1998)
3. Active Involvement – Student success increases with the degree or depth of student engagement in the learning process; i.e. the amount of time / energy students invest in their experience, inside & out of class. (Astin, 1993 / Kuh, 1991, 2001 / McKeachie, 1986 / Pascarella and Terenzini, 1991, 2005)
4. Social Integration – Student success is deepened through human interaction, collaboration and formation of interpersonal relationships between the student and other members of the community. (Astin, 1993 / Bruffee, 1993 / Johnson, Johnson and Smith, 1998 / Slavin, 1996 / Tinto, 1987,1993)
5. Self Reflection – Student success is strengthened when students reflect on and internalize their learning experiences, transforming these experiences into a form that relates to what they already know. (Ewell, 1997 / Flavell, 1985 / Vygotsky 1978)
6. Developmental Relationships – Student success is fostered when a peer or adult mentors the student to accelerate their personal focus, critical thinking, problem solving skills and interpersonal skills. (Astin, 2007 / Marklein, 2008 / Cromie, 2008)
Does your teaching offer more than a mere download of information? What are you offering that engages your students and enables them to really learn?