Creating Interest in Learners

13 Dec

By: Matt Benge and Amy Harder

If you were to close your eyes and picture your favorite teachers, you would likely find that each was very skillful in captivating your interest. Upon further study, you might find the interest produced resulted from your favorite teachers finding engaging activities or experiences that were related to the subject being taught, such as a nature walk when teaching about the environment or a scavenger hunt when teaching exploration. This method of creating interest into the classroom, called the Interest Approach, is very effective and widely applicable (Lancelot, 1929).

William Lancelot, the “Father of the Interest Approach,” believed a learner’s interests are important in learning and that those interests play a critical role in the development of a person’s thinking ability (Lancelot, 1944). He purported a learner’s “interest existing in any given topic flows into any other as soon as a connection between the two is seen” (Lancelot, 1929, p. 55). It is the responsibility of the educator to establish the connections between a learner’s interest and new knowledge. These connections can be created through the use of the Interest Approach.

Methods for Creating Interest

Applying the Interest Approach requires some thought and effort from the educator. The general tips that follow can help you begin to apply the Interest Approach during your teaching activities.

  • Be attentive to the development of interest the learners have regarding the subject or topic at hand.
  • If the learners are already excited and interested in the topic, encourage their energy and enthusiasm for the subject to keep them interested.
  • You must work to create interest if the learners are unsure or are genuinely not excited about the topic.

Using Natural Impulses

The following is a list of natural impulses that may be appealed to when teaching. Natural impulses not only help create interest, but also aid in the facilitation of the learning environment. Natural impulses should always be used when teaching (Lancelot, 1929). The following is a list of natural impulses with examples of how to incorporate them when educating.

  1. Activity – actively engaging the learners’ minds
  2. Nature – an outdoor activity involving trees, animals, or the ocean
  3. Curiosity – creating a scavenger hunt when learning about exploration
  4. Wonder – taking a real or virtual field trip to the Grand Canyon
  5. Creativeness – learners painting a picture of the Grand Canyon
  6. Gregariousness – a group activity or project where the learners interact with one another
  7. Competition – a sport, game, or project where learners are competing against one another

Yah , through this article we can reflect that a true educator is not one who makes learners memorize information. A true educator is one who is able to assimilate knowledge within the minds of learners. As a result, learners become sound, careful thinkers. The Interest Approach is not the only element in quality teaching, but it is an important educational tool. Creating interest in the minds of learners ensures the information learned is not only retained, but applied as well. As an educator, it is your responsibility not only to teach, but also to teach in a way that will make learners want to come back for more.

For your information in this reflection , I just put an article from then  reflect to the daily life as an educator and student. It’s because of I couldn’t join MMSEL class last week :).


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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Reflection per week


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