Interest Based Learning

Historically, many methods have been employed to impart knowledge to students; however, the only way knowledge is effectively learned is through interest in the knowledge to be imparted. Students will always have a harder time learning the subject if they have no interest in it, therefore, it is important to find ways of spicing up a subject in order to encourage the student’s interest.

Each subject holds its own challenge to certain students. For some, math can be a complete bore, and for those students, a page of arithmetic can bring tears of frustration. For others, with more mathematical brains, the arts subjects may be painful. The trick, then, is to find the key to the interest of each child, and to work with that interest.

A student councillor in a rural school was struggling to find a way to help some older boys learn to read. Their only interest was in farming. Teaching them to read seemed hopeless. They simply had no interest.

After spending some time with the boys, he picked up on something. They were all looking forward to some day owning a driver’s licence. The councillor went to the licence bureau, picked up some pamphlets and handed them to the boys. Suddenly their interest was keen and the boys were ready to learn to read. The battle was won when their interest was sparked.

Math can be a difficult subject to get excited about. To many creative students mathematics is nothing but an unrelated bunch of numbers. It can be extremely hard for these children to focus in the math class.

However, there is a man who has come up with a way to capture the mathematical interest of many students who once dragged their feet. His name is Steven P. Demme and his style of instruction is called Math.U.See. The process involves blocks; and house layouts for the hundreds, tens, and ones blocks; and he tells interesting stories about them that explain complicated concepts while capturing the imagination of creative students. Whether Math.U.See is used by homeschoolers, in a classroom setting, or as a tutoring tool, it will capture the interest of formerly uninterested students.

History can be fascinating, but some students lack any interest in the subject. The way to make history relate to a student’s interest is to tweak the students interest either by very good storytelling, by acting out scenes of the past, by visiting historical places, or even by watching good movies on the subject.

Science can be very dull if it is all about learning letter symbols, or doing “experiments” where the student is not really experimenting but is simply following specific directions for a predetermined outcome. The fire of interest is doused quickly when everything is handed to the budding young scientists with no opportunity for them to use their own restless creativity. Given more freedom science becomes exciting.

Apart from the subjects our education boards deem necessary, there are many other subjects that a student may develop an interest in. These are the subjects that will probably lead to future careers, and the student should be encouraged to pursue them. Every effort should be made to enrich these pursuits so the student will excel in these areas.

No one wants to be stuck in a job situation that is uninteresting to them. If an adult should not have to stay in a job they hate, why should anyone expect a young student to stay happy and doing well in a learning situation that, to that student, is totally boring? With a little bit of guidance the subject they once had trouble grasping, that subject they just couldn’t get into, can become their best subject ever, and may even turn into their life’s calling.