Classroom Fun, Learning Styles and a Potential PPE Shortage
Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!
Every Monday we summarise our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.
Please encourage your colleagues to use the Teacher Tapp app to keep engaged with education even when they’re not teaching. Your responses are also a vital data source that GES will be using to help in their decision-making around best policies and approaches to managing the current crisis.
If you’d like to bring more teachers to Teacher Tapp, please share this blog with your colleagues and encourage them to use the download links at the bottom of the page. In the mean time, here are this week’s intriguing findings…
1. Fun in the classroom
A staggering 94% of teachers told us they believe that lessons should be fun and entertaining for students. This is in line with the generally Progressive attitudes towards education that we’ve observed from our respondents.
However, respondents went further than this claim – they claimed that students learn best when they are entertained and having fun in lessons.
There are two downsides to fun lessons for students. For one, research shows that in order to learn something, students need to be actively thinking about. By paying attention to it, it can be stored in their memory.
Fun lessons are often fun because they involve students doing activities that don’t require them to think very hard about the content they are supposed to learn. This can often mean that students don’t remember, and therefore learn, from these types of lessons.
Secondly, fun lessons can often be a lot of work to plan! Compared to just instructing directly from a textbook, planning a series of enjoyable activities can be very time consuming.
However, when we asked teachers about this, only 1 in 5 teachers agreed that they found this challenging. 60% of teachers said that this is something that they do not find challenging – quite impressive!
2 . Learning Styles
What is a ‘learning style’? The idea is difficult to pin down, but many teachers around the world passionately believe in it. This extends to Ghana, where we found out that 95% of our users support the idea that students have individual learning styles that their teaching should cater to.
It is worth noting that 76% of this agreement is strong, demonstrating the passion teachers feel towards the issue.
It will come as a surprise to readers, then, to find out that most researchers in education and psychology agree that there are no such things as learning styles.
Although individual students may have different preferences for particular activities or ways of learning, these preferences do not constitute a particular ‘style’ of learning through which they learn best.
The issue is a technical one, but a very important one. Teachers often lose lots of time planning for individual learning styles and stopping doing this can make teaching more effective and much easier. As such, we’ll be sharing articles on the problems with learning styles in the coming week.
3 . PPE supply
Around 1 in 4 respondents told us that their school lacks sufficient access to PPE equipment for teachers and students.
This is a grave concern given recent incidents of students infection.
It is absolutely vital that GES works with local authorities and schools to resolve this situation as soon as possible in order to maintain safe learning and examination conditions for students.
4. Finally, we know you’re finding our daily readings useful, so here are all of the ones from last week…
PLUS, nearly all our readings this week have been written by teachers in Ghana! Read them here –
- Elements of Great Teaching
- Learning as journey or a destination
- Worrying and how to stop it
- Positive language with students
- Independent learning for students
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