Dr Demartini pinpoints steps and tools for teachers to get students to perform
A child's favourite sport, dream career or even their obsession with video games can provide a learning tool for teachers
That is because, according to behavioural specialist John Demartini, a child will learn better when their teacher connects the curriculum to what that child is interested in.
Similarly, the teachers teach better when they associate the lessons with what they value personally. If a teacher can pinpoint how teaching a class relates to their values and goals, they will be more motivated when teaching. "When you can't wait to teach, they can't wait to learn," Demartini told teachers at St Stithians Boys' College in Randburg yesterday.
American author and motivational speaker Demartini has written 40 self-help books. His Demartini Institute has an office in Joburg and he will be giving his lecture on improving teaching at government schools at intervals throughout the year as part of his institute's social responsibility programme.
Demartini said taking a few hours at the beginning of the term to find out what interests pupils and what their dreams are, would make a huge difference to achieving learning outcomes. The teacher could then integrate those interests into lessons. "If they can see what they want, connected to what they are learning, they will do well," he added.
Demartini said that putting labels on children, such as disobedient or learning disabled, prevented learning. "A child can't wait to learn... You can't come from the premise that they don't."
This principle of connecting into children's interests linked to all aspects of their behaviour, including teenage pregnancy and drug use. "People turn to stimulants when they are not fulfilled... People who are inspired don't have time for that."
Demartini encouraged teachers to see their values and the values of their pupils on an equal footing.