ESL-teachers today face a lot of challenges. Not only should they be experts in the target language and the actual teaching thereof, they should also guarantee the individual development of their students. It speaks for itself that this cannot be achieved if the students are not genuinely interested in what they’re taught.
While some students automatically have an interest in certain classes, most students need to be motivated to participate and pay attention for a whole period. In our Teacher Training Program we’ve learned to deal with this by starting with a presentation phase, in which the ESL-topic is introduced by relating to the students’ world and interests. The presentation phase is then often followed by a practice phase, based on the text- and workbook that are used in that specific school.
My own experiences as a teacher have taught me that the presentation phase has a great impact on the students’ attention and cooperation. However, for some students this effect doesn’t last that long. This can partially be explained due to the fact that most exercises in text- and workbooks don’t deal with the students’ specific interests.
In this context, the exploration and development of didactic content based on the specific interests of a target audience seems more than appropriate. After discussing this with Mrs Reggers, who was my mentor at Pikoh, I decided to create several interest-based lessons for two of her classes, 4 BAK (beeldende architecturale kunst) and 4 BAV (beeldende architecturale vorming). The incorporation of my two courses, English and Project Art Classes, was also one of the motivational factors.
In the exploratory research the problem will be oriented, which allows the deduction of a central research question and several side questions. The problem will then be further analyzed, offering an answer to the side questions.
The decisions and advices gathered from the exploratory research will serve as a guiding line for the design research. Besides the development of content, the design research will include a reflection on the actual lessons that have been given, as well as future plans and decisions regarding the project. Based on these findings a general conclusion will be made.
Hopefully, this thesis can serve as a source of inspiration for teachers and teachers in training who are interested in innovative ways of teaching.
If you want to cite this thesis in your own thesis, paper, or report, use this format (APA):
Hens, V. (2016). Banksy in the classroom. Interest-based learning in Arts-orientated education.
Unpublished thesis, Hogeschool PXL, PXL-Education.