Interest-driven Instruction

Making Contemporary Issues centered around your interests!

What is Interest-driven Instruction?

Interest-driven instruction is a differentiated learning strategy. Students are able to choose topics, products, activities and learning paths based on their personal interests and passions. Having interest or passion is a "psychological state of engagement, experienced in the moment, and also a predisposition to engage repeatedly with particular ideas, events, or objects overtime" (Murphy Paul, 2013). Your interests will guide you to new ideas and experiences based on previous positive experiences. We will take "student interest surveys and learning" profiles in order to find out the things you care about and the things that you enjoy doing (McCarthy, 2-14). Allowing you to pursue learning opportunities that interest you will expose you "to a wide variety of topics" (Murphy Paul, 2013). The goal of interest-drive instruction is to involve you, as the student, in your own learning, "formulate questions, investigate widely and then build new understandings, meanings and knowledge" (Branch & Oberg, 2004).

Helps develop your Metacognition Skills!

If you are allowed to base your learning on your interests you will be engaged in your learning. It will stimulate your thoughts and stir up feelings regarding the subject, these are both cognitive and affective states of learning (Murphy Paul, 2013). This will help build your metacognition skills and you will be able to learn new ideas and skills and transfer each of these to new situations (Branch & Oberg, 2004). You will also be able to connect your learning to your other classes, to the community and to your future (Branch & Oberg, 2004).

Linked to our understanding of how students learn....

Why in Contemporary Issues?

Why your interests matter...

It is my hope that in our Contemporary Issues course you will begin to develop an understanding of your role in local, national and global issues. In order to meet this goal, I feel it is important to understand your skills, passions and interests. I truly believe "when a topic connects to what students like to do, engagement deepens as they willingly spend time thinking, dialoging, and creating ideas in meaningful ways" (McCarthy, 2014). I hope that you will be able to dive deeper into content that interests you instead of only learning a little about many topics (Murphy Paul, 2013). Throughout the course you should be able to connect to previous learning experiences in other social studies courses. I hope that you find interests that you had "previous positive experiences" learning and will continue to feel interested and confident in your learning and skills (Ely, Ainley, & Pearce, 2013). When choosing topics that interest you, I believe you will also be more motivated. Therefore, I hope to engage all learners throughout the class, even those who may feel you are not engaged in social studies. I also hope, that if you already have a passion for learning and social studies you will be able to push past previous limits and go above and beyond in Contemporary Issues (Murphy Paul, 2013). Finally, I feel that if you are able to study topics and use skills that you feel passionate about you will feel motivated to continue to use these skills and become positive members of society and will go on to solve problems in your futures.

References

Boeree, C. G. (2006). Erik Erikson. Retrieved from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/erikson.html


Carey, B. (2014). How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens. New York: Random House.



[Cognitive digital image]. (2011). Retrieved from http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/cognitive-abilities/#axzz456Lv33iN


[Cooperative Learning Groups]. (2015, January 17). Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/cooperative-learning- structures-and-deep-learning/


Branch, J., & Oberg, D. (2004). Focus on inquiry. Alberta Learning. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov.cupdx.idm.oclc.org/fulltext/ED491498.pdf


Ely, R., Ainley, M., & Pearce, J. (2013, Spring). More than enjoyment: Identifying the positive affect component of interest that supports student engagement and achievement. Middle Grades Research Journal, 8(1), 13. Retrieved April 3, 2016, from Educators Reference Complete.


[Interest-driven curricula]. (2011, May 18). Retrieved from http://simplehomeschool.net/interest-driven-curricula-and-an-open-mind/

McCarthy, J. (2014, August 25). Learner interest matters: Strategies for empowering student choice. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-learner-interest-matters-john-mccarthy


McLeod, S. (2014). Lev Vygotsky. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html


Murphy Paul, A. (2013, November 4). How the power of interest drives learning. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/11/04/how-the-power-of-interest-drives-learning/


Rheingold, H. (2014, June 23). Learner interest-driven curriculum. Retrieved from http://dmlcentral.net/learner-interest-driven-curriculum/