Ways of Improving Student Achievement

Introduction

The achievement of students in any learning environment is determined by several factors. It may depend on the students themselves and their level of motivation, the type of curriculum, and the teacher’s influence e.t.c. The learning environment should be made conducive for the learners or students. The teacher has the responsibility of ensuring that the learning environment enables the students to achieve their goals. The teachers as a leader can influence the students and enable them to achieve their goals. The methodology applied in teaching can also influence the students’ achievement. The learning environment’s competitiveness also can influence students’ achievement. The government of the nation as a whole and its stand on education can also influence the achievement of the students. The kinds of standards set by the nation can motivate students to accomplish their education as well as life goals. Student achievement should be given a priority to ensure that students are equipped with knowledge and skills for them to excel in schools. Student achievement encompasses an attractive, positive, high level, and hard-working culture.

This essay explores the different ways in which the student’s achievement could be improved. The essay will consider factors like evaluation of curriculum and selection of curriculum, teacher/leaders influence, national standards, and brain-based research and competitiveness. All these factors have a significant influence on the achievement of the students.

Improving student achievement

One of the factors that can improve students’ achievement is competitiveness in the learning environment. The teachers should enhance competitiveness among students which will help nurture motivation in the classroom. When there is competition, students are motivated to work hard and achieve their goals. Competition can be created by giving students some incentives based on their performance. This will provide them with a reason to compete with one another. Those students who do not perform well are thus encouraged to work extra hard to receive the incentives next time. The students who receive incentives tend to be innovative in that he or she comes up with new ways of doing things to continue being top of the class and to enjoy receiving the incentives. Another way of enhancing competitiveness is by encouraging students to form study groups through which they will be brainstorming. This will encourage every individual to contribute fully in sharing ideas as he or she proves that the student can be able to give out good deliberations (Yeung & Mathieson, 1998).

Another way of improving the achievement of the student is by selection and evaluation of the curriculum. The curriculum should be chosen in such a way that students will be in a position to benefit from the skills that they have acquired once they come out of school and join the workforce. The faculty should consider discovering whether a certain curriculum is indeed fulfilling the purpose which it’s intended to and as to whether the students are learning or not. As complex systems, schools involve not only the teaching but the curriculum quality that supports the systems for students as well as teachers together with the leadership attached to it. The scope of the curriculum should be broadened so that the students can have a variety of subjects to choose from based on their strengths in the subjects. The student’s ability to understand various subjects should be determined to ensure that students are in a position to get what they are being taught. Course objective together with the relative weight should be determined to get rid of some of the programs that are less significant as far as the student’s educational needs are concerned (Howell & Nolet, 2000).

Another important factor that affects the learning of students is the teaching quality. A teacher usually plays an important role in school as he or she offers greater influence in supporting the mission of the school, shaping programs, and also guiding the students towards the achievements of their educational goals. As a leader, a teacher provides directions and the guidance required for the students to cover the intended syllabus in due time. The quality of a teacher is an important aspect to consider when the issue of the achievement of a student is concerned. Quality education can be compromised by the lack of a qualified teacher in a classroom. An effective teacher implies that students attain inadequate progress in their academic life. Effective teaching starts with good preparation by the teacher. It is the role of the states to ensure that teachers are well equipped with good content expertise as well as research-based strategies. To enhance student achievement, I would recommend teachers to use instructional strategies such as note-taking and summarizing which focus on analyzing information and in turn strengthening the students’ understanding (Stuart & Philip, 2006).

Teaching being highly complex requires teachers to make several decisions that are non-routine daily and therefore teaching must aspire to motivate students in their education and also be able to produce graduates who can solve problems quickly and in the most professional manner. Teachers should be able to grow their careers throughout. They should thus enroll themselves in continuous education programs that enable them to be updated with the current skills to be in a position to effectively deliver their services (Stuart & Philip, 2006).

Another aspect that can be used in enhancing the achievement of students is the use of brain-based research. This mode of learning is important, especially where there are reading disabilities among students because it helps in the intervention of brain scans. One tends to understand better when allowed o conduct experiments o his or her own. As the brain develops mostly in a manner that is integrated over time, brain-based learning provides students with simultaneous development for instance babies learn how to talk first, then how to tie shoes and they then learn on emotional development. Teachers should also encourage the students to look for challenges. This provides an opportunity for one to be competent as he or she tries to solve problems on his or her own. When faced with a challenge, students tend to develop a fear of incompetence and so this fear can motivate them to put extra efforts towards achieving their success. An effective teacher allows autonomy in classrooms by encouraging students to have a certain degree of control over what they are learning. Competition motivation tends to be reduced once the students feel that educational outcomes are out of their control and that participation in the classroom is involuntary (Jensen, 2008).

The brain is usually collaborative and innately social and so when exercised; it provides the students with an opportunity to argue their ideas to their peers in a collaborative manner. Because of the curious nature of the brain, it seeks to survive by seeking connections between what it already knows and the new and so, learning being an active construction process by students gives them a chance to relate the knowledge they already possess to the knowledge they are yet to learn(Jensen,2008).

Another way of enhancing the students’ achievement is by setting up the national standards during the textbook writing and also during the reform proposals implementation. Policymakers should be slow while testing their proposals for public support to ensure that students’ needs are well catered for. Students should also be involved when policy concerning education is being made so that they can share on the challenges they face and also on what needs to be improved. Educational standards between the public and the private sectors should be harmonized and adjustments should be done to ensure that education can meet current as well as emerging issues. The national standards should be applied in all the countries to ensure that students compete on level grounds (Ravitch, 1995).

The standards should also ensure that teachers possess the skills and knowledge to instruct in such areas as technology, science, consumption and distribution, management et cetera. Teachers’ skills should be done regularly to ensure that teachers are conversant with the current educational curricular nationwide. Only those institutions that meet the required standards should be given a license to provide education. This will assist in eradicating those institutions that provide education that does not match with the student’s needs (Ravitch, 1995).

Conclusion

Several factors are responsible for students’ achievement. These factors range from the students themselves, the school environment, and external factors like the national standards of education. Some of these factors may include Evaluation of curriculum, selection of curriculum, Teacher/leader influence, National standards of education, Brain-based research, and competitiveness within the learning environment among others.

Reference List

Howell, R & Nolet, V. (2000).Curriculum based evaluation: teaching and decision making. Belmont, California: Wadsworth.

Jensen, C. (2008).Brain-based learning: the new paradigm of teaching. New York: Corwin Press.

Ravitch, D. (1995).National standards in America: a citizen’s guide. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Stuart, S & Philip, P, (2006).School leadership: handbook for excellence in student learning. New York: Corwin Press.

Yeung, O. & Mathieson, J. (1998).Global benchmarks: comprehensive measures of development. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.