Students’ lack of motivation is one of, if not the most critical challenges school teachers face in their daily work. Students’ interests seem unrelated, or even at variance with the subjects they are studying, and the generation gap often prevents teachers from understanding how to bridge the distance.
Luckily, focusing on students’ interests, passions and questions can become an opportunity, rather than a distraction, for teaching and learning. The key is making students discover how their interests relate to what they learn at school.
The course will teach how to implement an interest-based approach in the classroom, that is, how to integrate curriculum standards with studying material driven by their students’ interests.
When it comes to learning, one size does not fit all: different students have different interests, passions, and questions. Participants will discuss and learn how to discover the interest of students and relate them meaningfully to their subject.
They will then explore different activities based on self-directed and student-centered, Engineering Design Process (EDP) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) methodologies aiming to engage students in active learning connected to their interests.
By the end of the course, participants will feel confident in increasing students’ motivation and active participation by giving voices to their interests. They will have acquired a powerful tool to build stronger connections with their students and engage them in their school subjects.
The course will help the participants to:
- Consider students’ interests as a resource and opportunity for the learning process;
- Understand the practical implications of individuals’ interests in creating school activities;
- Discover the interest of their students;
- Build up projects and activities starting from the different interests of their students;
- Increase students’ motivation by showing them the connection of their interests to the subjects of study;
- Create a positive learning environment in which all students understand the value and learning potential of each other’s interests.
Day 1 – What is Interest-Based Learning?
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Interest-Based Learning: introduction to the methodology.
Day 2 – Students’ interests vs./and school subjects
- Linking the student’s interests to the school subjects;
- Analyzing interests: are they related or unrelated to my subject?
- Activity: how to discover the interest of your students.
Day 3 – Creating learning activities based on student interests
- How to find a meaningful relationship between a student’s interests and your subject;
- Build up projects and activities starting from the different student’s interests: a practical approach.
Day 4 – Motivate your students with Project-Based Learning
- The value of group work: Interest-Based learning group activities and practical examples;
- Self-directed and student-centered Project-Based Learning activities based on students’ interests.
Day 5 – Engineering Design Process: A short introduction
- Awakening interest and motivation: connecting school with the real world through Interest-Based Learning and Engineering Design Process;
- Creation and presentation of a lesson plan based on students’ interests.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- External cultural activities.