Published on 2012/03/21
On Their Level
To truly engage students, educators must get on the same level as their learners. Image adapted from original by Sean MacEntee.

One question I find I keep asking myself is, what age do we start teaching business education and what should we teach?

It is one where there is no definitive answer (in my opinion). Let us look at the age range of K-12. I feel this is where these young adults are starting to get a handle on what they want to be but are not sure how they’re going to get there. Although every part of the educational cycle is important and for some will continue throughout their life, this age range can determine their life’s journey. So where do we start? How do we engage as many students as possible in this age range?

Simple! Keep it simple and relevant. Not necessarily just topic relevant but audience relevant. How do we do this? Well, what I do is get on their level. I ascertain what it is that is important to them at that time. It may be Facebook, it may be football, computer games, the list is seemingly endless. I recall one of the team who developed the ‘Raspberry Pi’ saying they initially had a problem of engaging students. They had started marketing the tiny PC as something that anyone could write a computer program on. The response was not good so they changed their wording very slightly and stated that students could design their own ‘APP’. The response was massive and students were scrambling to get one.

On a similar level I try to keep my ear to the ground so when I’m gathering tools, props, techniques and anything else that I can use to promote and encourage learning, I will seek it out and utilise it. I often wonder what it would have been like if like the Raspberry Pi, I had not used a particular name, method or style what would have been the engagement and success. I guess it’s something in this field we do not have the luxury of trial and error. It’s got to be ‘get it right first time every time’ or as near to that as we can get.

It would be great to see what you guys do to keep things relevant for your groups and classes. It is one of those areas that reflect on our own individual teaching styles and there’s NEVER just one way that is the correct way.

So what do you do…?

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