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How Can a Teacher Help in Student Career Guidance?

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If asked to take a walk down the memory lane into your childhood, what are the first few things you’d remember?

Your memories with family, friends, your school and… TEACHERS!

Teachers play a crucial role in every student’s life. They are every student’s first guide to academics & career. As a Teacher, one not only is responsible to deliver subject knowledge but also impart moral values for life. A teacher’s role doesn’t end here, their responsibilities vary from student to student based on the relationship they build with them.

Why does a Teacher play a vital role in Student Career Guidance?

Recall your classroom and remember what you initially wanted to become. When a Teacher, Principal or Parent asks ‘What do you want to become in life?’ most of us have our answers ready like Astronaut, Pilot, Doctor, Journalist, Teacher, Actor, and so on. Well, the truth is that not all of us end up doing what our first career choices are. Why not? Because of the lack of information and career guidance.

As a Teacher, you already are a career guide to your students. They not only look up to you for the area of the subject you teach but also for their further interests, information around it and scope of it for their future. A student learns words like profession, career, college and success in school, and look up to their teachers for guidance. Since students spend most of their time at school, only a Teacher can know their aspirations better.

How can a Teacher help in Student Career Guidance?

Being a Teacher, you already have gone through a student’s milestone years. School, Entrances, College, University and finally landed a Career of your choice. This itself gives you an opportunity to remember your journey and guide the students better.

Having a career conversation during class helps in sharing knowledge, as well as build curiosity among students. This helps them understand their interests and importance of education and learning from a very young age. They say ‘it is the destiny of few to mentor greatness’, and as a Teacher, it is the biggest privilege to guide students towards a brighter future.

Ask yourself if you have the passion towards Teaching as a profession and want to guide your students if the answer is yes, there’s nothing that can stop you. Consider yourself as one of those Super Teachers who goes the extra mile for their student’s success.

As a Teacher you can follow these activities to guide your students better:

  • Conduct a class survey on careers and take up topics on various professions twice a week
  • While teaching a particular subject, make sure you give some career examples
  • Make sure you are interacting with your students and show that you are equally interested in their career choices
  • Talk to their parents about their wards career thoughts during PTMs
  • Encourage students to research and polish their skill set

Well, the list can go on, but as a professional one must also take up a course that will help in identifying, understanding and analyzing a student’s interests, strength, desire and behaviour.

You must be thinking that you’re a Teacher and not a Career Counselor, but why not a Career Counselor? As a Teacher you already are playing the role of a Career Guide, a smarter thing to do would be a professional certification that will enhance your knowledge and skill set to help guide your students better, in return adding immense value to your own professional graph.

Your intention to guide students is 100% sincere, but is it possible to guide an entire class? Or the whole batch for the matter? Here’s where a renowned certification will not only provide the above benefits but also give you a 360 degrees exposure to the education industry along with its changing needs.

Ever since the Central Board for Secondary Education has made it mandatory for schools to have counsellors, progressive schools in India have been eagerly looking for professional & certified career counsellors.

posted Jan 11 in General by Darareaksmey

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+1 vote

 

The name psychologist may flash many images from the pop culture. The characters from epic movies such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Good Will Hunting, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Sixth Sense, Split, and many more, may also rekindle your dormant memories. You might have also searched on the web to know how to become a psychologist. That being said, Psychologists are adept at studying the human psyche. With ample psychology courses in their kitty and loads of practical experience, they help individuals solve their problems related to thoughts and emotions

 

Psychology course

A person’s behavior is a result of a mental map drawn by the five senses. As psychologists study the impact of mind on the body, they come up with valuable suggestions to their clients to improve their life with a refined set of behavioral traits. The key lies in proper advice and right guidance to fine tune their thought process and hone the mental faculties. If you draw a parallel to the modus operandi of a psychologist to a career counsellor, they are quite similar. That’s a surprising factor.

Read more: Be a Career Counsellor!

 

Let’s run down the activities of a psychologist and relate them to that of a career counsellor

Assessment

Psychologists assess the root cause of all the problems and suggest correctional therapies. They have put the subjects to certain tests to deep dive into their problems. Career counsellors use psychometric assessments to know students’ personality type and offer career-related suggestions accordingly, With the knowledge of educational psychology, Psychologists can draw the personality traits from the reports in a better way. And this aspect makes them good career counsellors. Now, that fuels the process to assess the career guidance courses and zero in on the best one.

Psychology courses in india

 

Goal Setting

On the lines of a psychologist setting goals for treatment, a career counsellor sets career goals for students and creates a roadmap for success. A career counselling course helps the counsellor to identify the key attributes in a student profile and map them to their dream university requirement. The course also helps counsellors to chalk out SMART goals for the students.

students goals

 

Help & Hand-holding

Psychologists help people to overcome their challenges and traumatic experiences. Likewise, career counsellors help students overcome the hindrances in career path and handhold them to make informed decisions, A psychologist can be a great career counsellor as the ability to emote and empathize with the subjects is a common trait in both the professions, All they need to do is put their hands on psychology counselling courses.

Yes, a psychologist can become a career counsellor, but the former should gain insights into various courses. That makes a career counselling course imperative and it checks all the boxes of requisite skills to take up the profession. Career counselling in India is a growing field and psychologists can up their ante by doubling up as career counsellors.

in General
+2 votes

Art inquiry is a powerful way to engage students with diverse learning needs, improve critical thinking and social-emotional skills and make learning relevant to students’ lives.

Yet many teachers shy away from teaching with art, which causes their students to miss out on these potentially transformative learning experiences. Teaching with art creates opportunities for novelty in the classroom, which stimulates students’ minds, activating different ways of thinking and learning.

In my work with teachers, I always emphasize that teaching with works of art doesn’t require specialized knowledge in the field of art. It does require the willingness to look at your curriculum through a creative lens in order to find new and unexpected connections to the content you teach. If you are looking for a way to enliven your curriculum, the 5 steps below will help you leverage the power of art to improve your teaching practice and your students’ learning.

1. Choose a Work of Art

Because art tells the story of human history, there is no curriculum topic that can’t be supported by works of art. With your curriculum in mind, explore museum websites. A great place to start is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, metmuseum.org, where you can download high-resolution images of thousands of works of art from their encyclopedic collection. Brooklynmuseum.org and moma.org are also excellent resources for art images. When selecting works of art to teach from, consider these three questions:

  • Does this artwork spark my interest?
  • How does it relate to my students’ lives?
  • How does it relate to our curriculum?

If the work of art you choose satisfies all three of these criteria, you have the foundation for a successful art inquiry experience.

2. Think Thematically

Use a theme or essential question to support connections between the work of art, your students’ lives and your curriculum. Effective themes and essential questions are intellectually engaging and universal; they provide an entry point into challenging content by supporting personal connections between students’ experiences and academic content. For example, a middle school teacher used the theme “Friend or Foe?” to support her students’ study of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

In the classroom, she showed her class portraits in which the artist and the subject had a complicated relationship. Exploring the theme through the paintings while making connections to their own lives deepened her students’ understanding of a central theme in the novel.

3. Develop Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions inspire critical and creative thinking. By engaging your students in open-ended inquiry with works of art, you affirm their unique ways of seeing the world while teaching them to value the diverse viewpoints of their classmates. To ensure that your questions are open-ended, challenge yourself to think of multiple responses to each question.

If you can come up with at least three possible responses, the question is open-ended. If you are expecting one ‘correct’ answer, the question is closed. Try rephrasing the question to make it open-ended. Your questions should also encourage close looking by requiring students to use visual evidence to support their ideas. This will ensure that the conversation remains grounded in the work of art.

 

4. Use the Pyramid of Inquiry to sequence your questions

The Pyramid of Inquiry is a flexible framework that can be used with any work of art to facilitate inquiry experiences that develop critical thinking skills. The foundation of the Pyramid is observation: students begin by looking closely through an open-ended prompt such as, ‘what do you notice?’ or a multimodal approach such as sketching the object. Observation is the critical first step in the inquiry process because the information gathered in this phase will support the development of inferences and interpretations that are grounded in visual evidence. The next level of the Pyramid is evidence-based inference.

This could be prompted by a question along the lines of ‘what’s going on in this painting’ or a movement activity that asks students to take the pose of a character in a painting and infer how the character feels, using evidence from the artwork to support their ideas. At this point, you will introduce relevant contextual information about the work of art. Once students have absorbed this information, the conversation builds to the interpretation phase, where students synthesize this new information with their previous ideas about the work of art.

Interpretation can involve a big question such as ‘what do you think is the message of this work of art?’ or an art-making activity that asks students to express the meaning of the artwork in a creative way.

5. Expand learning beyond the classroom

Whenever possible, bring students to a museum or gallery to explore works of art in person. These kinds of experiences yield powerful results for student learning (Greene, Kisida & Bowen, 2014), and seeing a work of art in person is a vastly different experience than viewing it on a screen. Reach out to the museum’s education department before you visit; they exist to support teachers and students and offer a wealth of resources to support your teaching. If museums and art galleries are not abundant where you teach, seek out local artists. They can be a rich source of information for your students and are often happy to take time to speak with young people about their work.

Finally, a word of encouragement: if you are new to art, don’t be intimidated! Use art inquiry as an opportunity to model creative risk-taking with your students. You will be rewarded with the gift of seeing works of art, and your students, with fresh eyes.

+1 vote

My two girls, Aarah (7 years) and Saraah (5 years), hate drinking milk but I know a way to get them to do it, as I know it’s good for them.

The pleasure of winning isn’t just a great motivator for kids, but adults too. Last weekend, I discovered from my colleague that to top the ‘Step Tracking Weekly Leader board’ amongst her friends, she paced up and down her living room just before midnight, when the leader board resets. Don't you agree that a small competition and the pleasure of winning, has even motivated a person in her mid-thirties to walk more?When I say, “Let’s see who finishes the glass first?”, the glass is empty within a flash. This is not just me, I am sure all parents do this. These things make it easy to motivate kids to do things they dislike.

So, here’s the big question - what gets my daughters and my colleague to complete these smaller tasks which they generally don’t like? What is it that gets them to accomplish a broader objective, in this case, a ‘Healthier Diet’ and ‘Physical Fitness’ respectively, with smaller milestones?  

The answer is Gamification!

Gamification refers to use of game design and elements in a non-gaming context to drive the desired behavior. In simpler terms, it is about using the system of points, levels, badges, or leaderboards that are common in games, in real-world scenarios. 

Doesn’t it make a perfect case for gamification to be used in learning to make it fun and effective? 

It does! However, learning methods at school or even at home, face a huge engagement crisis today. The learning of today only involves learning by rote and then producing those in the exams, causing boredom among st young learners. According to a Labster study, about 60 percent of students mentioned that they love Science, however, only 24 percent among them, said that they love Science classes. See the difference? When a parent can get a child to drink milk with gaming principles, why shouldn’t parents and teachers use the same method to impart learning to kids?

Ed-tech startups have identified this need, which is why online learning tools such as Khan Academy, Quizizz and our own app, QuizNext have started using game elements to deliver learning objectives to students. At QuizNext, we are focused at gamifying the revision experience for CBSE and ICSE students by providing detailed chapter-wise quizzes for delivering formative assessments, making practice fun and engaging. 

It offers two type of revision quizzes:

  •        Practice Quizzes, which are chapter-wise solo quizzes 
  •        Challenge Quizzes, where students compete against other online users on different chapters and concepts.  

So, which one do you think has more adoption among kids? Challenge Quizzes? Are you sure?  You are right, but not completely! I will come to that shortly!  

Just going by the numbers, ‘Challenge Quizzes’ completely outnumber the ‘Practice Quizzes’, accounting for about 68% of the 300,000 quizzes taken over on QuizNext over the last five months. However, it is interesting to see the pattern in which students take quizzes. Students first take ‘Practice Quizzes’, ensure that they have understood the concepts before they go on to challenge their friends in ‘Challenge Quizzes’. 

Further, it has been interesting to see students expect stronger opponents in Challenge Quizzes. In the initial versions of the app, we would randomly pick opponents (both real users and Bots) in Challenge Quizzes. When the learners got used to winning every time, mostly against Bots, they would ‘leave feedback’ asking if they could choose opponents on own including friends.  

So why does this work? 

To understand this a little bit better, let us understand how Intrinsic Reinforcement works. Whenever you challenge yourself, however big or small, and complete that challenge, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which is a pleasurable chemical that makes the challenge achievement feel good.

Further, the more you do this i.e. the challenge-achievement-pleasure loop occurs more often, the brain secretes more dopamine and testosterone, making you want to do it repeatedly and succeed, which is also called the Winning Effect. So, in a student’s context, winning a Challenge Quiz after a stiff competition creates a good feeling and further motivates them to take more quizzes, to replicate the Winning Effect every time. 

We’re constantly observing our users’ activities on QuizNext to derive insights on what works in Ed-tech and what doesn’t. Here's what we’ve learnt so far about Gamification:  

•    Recognition motivates learners to practice more: Learners who have been among Top 15 positions on the leader board, take nine times the number of quizzes every week, when compared to other users.   

•    Virtual Badges and Points trigger intrinsic motivations: Though badges and points have no financial value, it motivates some learners to earn and accumulate them. We ran an experiment, where 50 percent of a ‘user subset’ were offered additional coins for completing practice quizzes, while the other 50 percent of the user set were offered no additional incentives. At the end of the experiment, the user group which had additional incentives had completed 24 percent more quizzes than the other group.  

•    Extrinsic triggers drive learning: Triggers such as ‘Challenge Invites’ work exceptionally well with some set of users. Grouping users based on learning objectives and placing them against each other for a challenge gets users to complete quizzes and move closer to learning objectives.  

•    Breaking a larger goal into smaller milestones makes learning less overwhelming: Breaking down a chapter or concept into smaller quizzes, keeps students motivated as they can earn rewards for every quiz and work with smaller bites of information.   

•    Time-bound quizzes improve student performances: We have seen that time bound quizzes improve the speed of students by at least 50 percent while maintaining the same accuracy levels for questions of similar difficulty and understanding levels for concepts.  

With these insights, it’s safe to say that Gamification might hold the key to a world of better education that’s been locked behind books for many parents and kids for a long time now. 

 

Authored by Chaiitanyaa Naik, Product Manager at QuizNext. When he is not working, you will find him reading about behavioral interventions and behavioral economics.

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