How to create a joyful learning experience in the classroom.
So, what’s that joyful learning stuff anyway?
The thrill of true learning is captured by Joy–curiosity, passion, collaboration, connection, effort, fun, pride, sharing. Joyful learning refers both to the learning process and to a result which we believe ought to be very valued: joy. Therefore, there is considerable evidence that the focus on techniques we would call joyful is far more effective.
“Developing, empowering and playful learning of meaningencies in a loving and supportive community,” is our current short definition of joyous learning. Through the joyous learning process, a student is always improving the knowledge of himself and of the world. We also recognize that slightly different descriptors could be used by experts in the field. Tony Wagner could, for example, describe this as “passion, play, and purpose” whilst Martin Seligman can concentrate on “significant participation.” Most important to us is that we talk – that we value joy in the learning process and as an outcome in life.
The Network of Joyful Learning
Okay, I’m getting joyful learning now, but what’s the “network” stuff?
Joyful learning will remain on the sidelines without the efforts of a large number of individuals and organizations. To achieve things it takes a network, to work and to learn together. Teachers share creative ideas for lessons, parents join forces in bringing together voluntary arts, etc. school classes, virtual communities working together on the local newspaper’s views and organizations, establish bonds to work together to achieve a common objective.
The Joyful Learning Network at its core is a movement that embraces every child’s incredible potential — and the wider community’s incredible potential. It mobilizes our positive energy and pushes it through this place we call the school to our children, transforming the school from the current factory model specializing in measuring, judging, sorting, and controlling into a place of happy self-actualization and community.
In the Joyful Learning Network, the concept of learning is repositioned and curiosity and desire are inspired, which is so naturally present in children but is subdued by the current educational system.
How to create meaningful experiences of learning
Joyful learning is not just learning fun, but all the emotions and aspects associated with the learning process: curiosity, activity, interest, pride, and even confusion. On behalf of joyful learning, there are several factors that speak. For instance, they include:
- Improving learning quality: The joy of learning is influenced in many respects by the quality of learning: it makes the child more involved in learning, increases flexibility in thinking and improves the ability to solve problems and logical thinking.
- Increased agency for children: The child should be at the center of activity in learning. The smaller the child, the more activity, communication and guided play he/she needs to learn–and the child needs joy and freedom to learn. Playing is not spending time away from learning. Through play, the child structures his / her environment and is, therefore, a meaningful part of learning.
- It’s not the goal, but the journey: Joyful learning isn’t the objective of teaching or learning process– fun is a side effect of activity. Learning fun is a lengthy process during or at the end of the process. Experiencing joy comes from skills developed through practice; joy is generated through the child’s own accomplishments.
In short, a meaningful context, a suitably designed challenge, and a secure environment build the experience of joyful learning. It involves the child’s curiosity and interest so that he/she has an active role and an ability to experience. It also requires constructive and supportive social interaction.
As teachers, in the classroom, you always want to create joy as it facilitates more learning and definitely faster learning. The challenge in the classroom is HOW do you create happy learning? HOW do you enthusiastically infect your students? How do you make the classroom fun and joy? Here are a few simple techniques that will help you to learn as much as you can.
“Education is what remains after the manuals have been forgotten.”
If this is true, let’s embark on the journey of making education a happy experience. What happens inside schools has a profound and lasting effect on the mindsets developed by children towards lifelong learning. A teacher affects eternity, and when his influence stops, one can never tell.
Find the fun in learning:
If we want to be enthusiastic about students, if we want them to see school and learning as joyful, then we need to think about how and what we are teaching. Let them enjoy learning and enjoy games as well. Find ways to boost classroom laughter.
Music and Rhythm:
With song, many of the things that you remember most easily have been learned. When learning something new, ask your students to create songs and rhythm, and they will remember much longer and have an easier time to get the information for a test.
Give choices to the students:
Speak to your students about the topic they want to study for that week and then they’ll teach next week as “experts.” In your classroom, try this.
Let students create stuff:
People like creating stuff. There are almost no limits to a list of things students can create throughout the course: journals and magazines, books, stories, photos, posters, PowerPoint presentations, interviews, oral stories, model drawings, drawings, drafts and drawings, play and role-playing, mock trials, photography, paintings, songs, inquiries, graphs, documentary videos etc.
Towards holistic education:
With the advent of information technology, the new challenges we face in the 21st century require a systemic shift towards a model of holistic learning that is experiential and linked to real-life situations. Find situations that help students incorporate what they have learned into their daily lives.
We, adults, are all too well aware that fresh air, trees, and a sunny day can perform miracles for the human mind. In an era where recesses and playgrounds are taken away, get your classes to reinvigorate and rejuvenate their learning outside, no matter what the age. As a teacher, to read, write, or have a class meeting, you should take your students outside. It’s enjoyable for a student to sit under a tree and read or sit on the grass and talk in a circle. There are ecosystems all around us.
Non-interactive methods of chalk and talk used in classrooms end up producing kids capable of replicating but not creating knowledge. Joyful learning has emerged over the past 14 years as a powerful concept for changing how we manage schools and classrooms.
Teacher empowerment is central to the program’s success. Teachers use songs and games as teaching tools as well as a variety of materials available locally, such as leaves, stones, and trees.
An active, bright and cheerful place is a joyful classroom.
It’s possible and powerful to learn joyfully. As early childhood educators and children’s advocates, you must ensure that all kids have the thrill, confidence, and motivation to achieve and the time and support to achieve an objective that is challenging and achievable.
Also Read: Benefits of Water Play in Child Development