Making learning fun
In a lot of educational writing, it’s taken as a given that creating an atmosphere of fun in the classroom must inevitably lead to learning. It’s fair to ask what is the relationship between fun and learning, however from an evidential perspective.
This analysis leads you to develop a working definition of fun and what it looks like in the classroom so that we can say if we have more or less of it. This definition and quantification allows us to analyze the relationship between fun and learning as measured by quantitative assessments.
Reread those words and see if you can find any fun in them. Is there anything about that attitude that would make you want to attend the class from someone who thought in that way.
This is not to discount the importance of an objectivist approach to education and looking critically at the outcomes of your educational efforts.
I believe we can proceed with the assumption that people are social animals and that the atmosphere in which they find themselves in the classroom, particularly if this was not a matter of choice but one of policy, can go a long way towards improving the quality of their learning.
Our hypothesis is that of fun atmosphere will improve the probability that they generate the internal desire to learn which most people would agree is the basis for a lifelong love of learning that will sustain them once they leave our classroom area
Making things fun requires you to look at curriculum and the educational space through the eyes of your students and their preferred learning styles. We need variety, experiential learning, connection to the important matters of our times, alignment of the class lessons with the interests of our students to more fully engage their attention.
All of these things lead to fun in the classroom. Perhaps the most important contributor, though, is the personal attitude towards the class as expressed by the teacher and model than his or her behavior. If it’s not fun for the teacher, it it makes it that much harder for it to be fun for the students. If the teacher truly loves the math, then the math class will be fun and we’ll get through it with enjoyment and improve learning.
So, don’t neglect the outcomes-based evaluations of education, but don’t forget that where people and that we need to be engaged in courage and enthusiastic about our time in the classroom too.
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