Eight Ways to Maintain Your Learner’s Attention

Eight Ways to Maintain Your Learner’s Attention

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education.

September 29, 2014—Much of what we do by way of teaching takes the form of classroom instruction. It’s a pedagogy that is highly dependent on teacher performance. So much so that we can identify around 49 specific instructional acts that are teacher-specific. The key to instructional effectiveness is knowing how to perform those acts effectively. Part of the dance of the classroom is triggering the connection between teacher performance and student learning. I think too many teachers work too hard at teaching as performance, to the extent they run the risk of turning learning into a spectator sport. When that happens learning loses its effectiveness. The pedagogical principle at work here is, “Students learn what they are giving attention to, and when they don’t give attention, they don’t learn.”

In classroom instruction, then, student attention is key to learning. Here are eight ways to maintain attention in classroom instruction:

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Formerly, he was Dean at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer and Don Reagan.<His books on Christian education include The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice),A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists (S&H), and Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice Press).

Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans.

Adapted from A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists,  by Israel Galindo (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, )

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