In recent years, teachers have been more focused on enriching their teaching methodologies and make teaching and learning an interactive and engaging activity for their students. In the past, teachers were expected to follow the school’s curriculum, create lesson plans and ensure that students pass the exams at the end of the school year. However, things change and now teachers need to find ways to engage their students and deliver lessons that meet their needs. At the same time, they need to find ways to prepare them for the labour market, help them spark their creativity and introduce them early on to terms such as sustainability and social innovation.
Especially in the framework of Covid-19, catching and maintaining the students’ attention has been a real challenge. New teaching approaches that have recently emerged seem to be effective in increasing student engagement:
- Personalized Learning
Unlike traditional learning in which the school curriculum is designed with the average student in mind, in personalized learning the average student does not exist. Personalized learning takes into consideration individual students’ needs. In this approach educators tailor challenges, lessons and instructional styles to support each student’s needs. EdTech can play an important role in the implementation of personalized learning and can be integrated in the curriculum.
- Project-based Learning
Project-based learning is an approach to teaching that focuses primarily on having students engage in explorations of real-world problems and challenges. Through these explorations, they develop their content knowledge, but also develop creative solutions to real-life problems. This approach to teaching functions to engage students that may be disinterested in traditional content because it allows them to identify problems in their community or the world at large that they want to solve. It also provides teachers and students with opportunities to be creative. In schools that commit to project-based learning, students can engage in a project, and learn all subjects as they complete their project. In this process, the teacher looks for ways to connect the subject to the project. In turn, students look to the teacher for content knowledge and learn by doing.
- Flipped Classroom
This approach became very popular, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak. Based on this approach, students are asked to watch a video lecture at home at their own pace and take notes. The next day, they go to school and either work on a project related to the lecture in groups or ask questions to be answered by their teacher. This way, the teacher-student interaction is enhanced, while at the same time, students collaborate and apply what they have learned at home in the classroom. This approach is also very popular among students. According to a research conducted by the Faculty of Education of the University of Murcia in the academic year 2020–2021, most students had a positive perception about the flipped classroom, noting the advantage of practical in-class activities, as well as increased self-autonomy in learning.
In recent years, the focus of education has shifted from curriculum and teacher-centered approaches to more interactive approaches. New approaches seem to focus on teacher-student interaction and exchange of information. Apart from engaging the students to a greater extent, they also give teachers the flexibility to adopt teaching methodologies that are less traditional and match their classrooms’ needs.
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