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Involving Students in Their Own Learning

In a classroom full of peers, a single misstep can be a devastating blow to a student’s confidence, a crowded room can mean their questions remain unresolved and a competitive environment can foster stress and anxiety regarding their academic ability. As a result, many students find themselves falling behind as victims of academic disengagement, affecting their marks, confidence and future prospects. However, through one-on-one, targeted learning, even the most detached student can grow to become heavily involved with their education.

Academic disengagement often presents itself as boredom; however, it can stem from any number of reasons including embarrassment from feeling ‘behind’ others academically, apathy toward the content and, in rare cases, being too advanced for the curriculum being taught in schools. As the leading cause of this is boredom, your child may take issue with the manner in which the content is being taught.

Every student is a different type of learner whether it be auditory, visual or hands-on and thus rely upon different forms of teaching to remain engaged. Where visual learners understand and enjoy using diagrams, hands-on learners benefit from practical tasks and applying the information whilst auditory learners flourish through hearing information and repeating this out loud such as in a discussion. To engage a student, teachers must recognise and adjust to these needs but in large groups it is nearly impossible to cater to everyone, hence, your child may benefit from one-on-one tutoring. When faced with only one student at a time, tutors can effectively discover and target their student’s learning styles and in doing so, bring enjoyment to and nurture a passion for learning.

Another leading cause of disengagement is embarrassment from not understanding the content or from perceiving themselves as ‘unsuccessful’. These emotions often compel students to lose interest and give up because they fear they just ‘aren’t good’ at the subject being taught, moreover, they may refrain from asking questions and seeking help in class. In these circumstances it can be highly beneficial to find an alternate learning environment which is supportive and free of all judgement. When it comes to personal tutoring, students feel secure in their ability to ask questions about any and all aspects of the content they don’t understand without feeling as though they are being compared to or judged by their peers. As little as one session a week can be the push they need to get back on track and reinvested in their learning.

Furthermore, disengagement can be caused by the copious number of distractions found in classrooms. When faced with spending an hour either solving complex maths problems or subtly playing solitaire on your computer and chatting to your best friend while the teacher isn’t looking, it isn’t a great stretch to assume the majority of students prefer the latter. This issue of boredom and disinterest extends well beyond the classroom as even at home students neglect their learning in favour of various hobbies and interests. To tackle this issue and ensure your child remains focussed upon their learning, it is vital you find an environment where education may take place free of distraction. For many, this may be tutoring.

Every child deserves to love and care about their learning; however, too many are growing to despise it purely because they are unable to connect with it. To ensure this engagement can be achieved, the underlying causes of academic detachment must be identified whether they be boredom, embarrassment, distraction or otherwise. Tutoring can create a supportive environment through which students can get back on track with their learning, regain self confidence and become invested for years to come.