The Importance of Knowing Your Students

The Importance of Knowing Your Students
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  • 0:01 Knowing Your Students
  • 0:33 What You Should Know
  • 1:06 Elementary Level
  • 2:02 High School Level
  • 3:07 College Level
  • 4:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes
In creating a learner-centered classroom, there is little more important than knowing your students. This lesson details why it is so important that you get to know your students and ways this impacts learning.

Knowing Your Students

If you walked into the hospital on the day you were scheduled to have a surgery, and the surgeon asked what he was doing for you that day, you'd probably be more than a little panicked. In many human-services fields, knowing the people you work with is integral if you want to do a good job and succeed.

The same is true of learner-centered classrooms. These are classrooms in which the student is the focus of all activities and learning, with the teacher acting as a facilitator and guide on the side. In order to establish an effective, productive, learner-centered classroom, you must know your students - and not just their names.

What You Should Know

A doctor doesn't need to know your favorite color to treat you effectively. Likewise, in teaching, there are certain pieces of information that are more important than others when getting to know your students. Some of the most important include preferred learning styles, cultural backgrounds, important relationships, interests, and personalities.

All of these factors are things you should know about your students at any level of education. Having this information will help you to better serve and facilitate your students' learning. Let's look at how this information aids learning at several levels of education: elementary school, high school, and post-secondary education.

Elementary Level

If you are an elementary school teacher, you know how difficult it can be to motivate students. This is especially true if you are teaching in a learner-centered classroom, where students are responsible for much of their own learning and must be motivated to want to do the work. By knowing your students, you can come up with creative ways to motivate them to work.

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