Teaching Strategies for High School Students

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High school students are old enough to help direct their own learning.

The advanced age of high school students presents both challenges and benefits to the instructor. High school students are more mature than younger children, and thus capable of understanding complex material and connecting it to their previous knowledge. On the other hand, older students can be more difficult to motivate and may suffer from academic weaknesses entrenched by many years of deficiency. Implement different teaching strategies depending on the material, classroom dynamic and student skill level.

  1. Lecture

    • Lecture is perhaps the most traditional instructional strategy, particularly for new material. In a standard lecture, the teacher presents information to the class that they assimilate by listening and taking notes. A good lecture is engaging and well-organized, often with visual illustrations, evocative storytelling and props. As a teacher, you should plan your lecture beforehand, but allow enough flexibility to adapt if students seem lost or bored.

    Discussion

    • Many students pay closer attention and retain more information when they are expected to talk intelligently during the lesson. A high school student will be more engaged when he feels that his opinions and thoughts are valuable. Class discussions allow students to express themselves and develop their understanding of a topic as a group. This strategy is particularly valuable for literary or historical topics that relate to the students' individual experiences.

    Homework and Independent Study

    • As children age, they become capable of learning independently through reading, study and homework assignments. A capable teacher must balance the urge to extend the instructional day with an understanding of his students' attentional limitations. Assign homework to guide students in practicing the skills they learn in class, while saving new material for the classroom. Optional assignments provide direction to motivated students who seek to bring their understanding to the next level.

    Technology Integration

    • Most school-age children grew up in an environment in which useful technology was easily accessible. After they graduate, they will be expected to compete in a highly technical workforce. To prepare them for this future, integrate technology into classroom experiences to promote both content knowledge and computer skills. Encourage students to use computer tools for research, modeling and presentation in the classroom. Adopt standards for assignments and projects that reflect modern expectations for word-processing programs and presentation tools. Introduce students to technology resources on campus, such as a library or computer lab.

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