Positive learning environment and maximum student engagement are possible with the new design of creative strategies for teaching. Having selected the most comprehensive plan for enhancing student responsibility and social development, teachers can create the best learning environment. The discipline strategies are helpful in assessing the teaching style and student engagement in the learning process. Reward and punishment practice reveals the level of student motivation to learn. Learning environment and student engagement depend on strategies teachers impose while boosting responsibility, maintaining discipline, promoting learning processes, and developing the reward and punishment system.
Student responsibility and social development can be improved with the number of self-regulated and autonomous strategies. However, each of them is based on the students’ motivation and desire to be actively involved in the learning process. The application of independence in learning and self-organization are the basic strategies for ensuring that students will take the responsibility for their actions (Duckworth, Gendler, & Gross, 2014). Being given the freedom of choice, students understand what duties they have then. Thus, they start making decisive and practical steps on the way to reaching the educational goals. The permission to regulate students’ load and schedules is one of the best strategies to make them take responsibility for their actions as they start understanding that no one can plan their time and develop their learning process. The application of the same strategy helps make students develop socially as in the most cases, the educational goals cannot be accomplished without close interconnection with the staff.
The discipline models should also refer to self-control and self-regulation. Students should understand that their role in the educational process is crucial. In fact, it directly depends on the possibility of students to organize their time without teacher’s intrusion. However, to achieve such a successful result, one has to develop favorable discipline model, which takes into consideration all behavior problems, which are “directly linked to four mistaken goals of behavior or hidden behavior” (p. 306). The four mistaken goals are “to gain undue attention, to experience a sense of misguided power over others,” “to seek revenge,” and “to socially withdraw or convey inadequacy” (Bear, 2009, p. 306). Only focusing on these problems and eliminating them, a teacher will be able to maintain discipline. It is possible to achieve the desired results with the help of controlling students’ performance. The elimination of four major behavioral mistakes is a guarantee of achieving friendly learning environment in the classroom. To improve it, teachers should also promote self-control techniques among students.
Inclusion classes have become popular in recent years. Indeed, only student-centered teaching can help all students, both with abilities and disabilities, become involved in the learning process. This learning process helps recognize the differences students have and focus the educational process on the needs and expectations of each student. Student-centered learning strategy recognizes the value of each student. Undoubtedly, it has become one of the most important aspects in the classrooms where students with abilities and disabilities study (O’Toole, 2015). Each student should receive a relevant task and should be able to accomplish it. Too easy tasks will discourage ordinary students from continuing their education, while difficult tasks will prevent students with disabilities from finishing them. Consequently, they will also refuse to study. Therefore, the student-centered learning strategy is the best choice to involve students with different capabilities in the learning process.
Reward and punishment strategy should serve as the primary means of student motivation. Each grade, each feedback, and each assessment, either positive or negative, should motivate students (Ching, 2012). Undoubtedly, penalties demotivate students. Moreover, they do not promote any creativity and motivation. Therefore, penalties should not be used as the system of punishment. However, the punishment should remain the part of the learning process. In case students deserve punishment, they should not receive certain resources. Instead, they should face other restrictions. In fact, students with limited resources or other limitations consider their task as an additional challenge which motivates them for better learning. Positive feedback, high grades, and even small comments on good performance are considered as rewards. Moreover, additional advantages can serve as a reward. For example, students can choose the topic for discussion, a partner or partners for the teamwork. Besides, they might be the first who start the assignment. Obviously, the majority of teachers prefer the traditional rewarding system, such as grades. However, creative approach to rewards and punishment policy proves to be effective.
Therefore, it can be concluded that self-discipline, student-centered learning, and creative approach to rewards and punishment system are the best strategies to create the required learning environment and promote student engagement. Learning process should be creative no matter how difficult the task is. In the classroom, students should always be motivated to continue learning. The strategies mentioned above help me promote the positive environment in the classroom and make students strive for knowledge through self-discipline and autonomy in education. Self-discipline helps to create beneficial conditions for education and enables students to access adequately their role in the learning environment. Student-centered learning helps all students understand their value in the classroom which can become a small community. Finally, the absence of grade deduction as a punishment helps motivate students to study even after poor performance.
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