Modeling is the use of a person or thing exactly like another to stimulate the students’ interest and curiosity. Use of models permits them to express their creativity, and nurtures positive relationships with one another. Everyone loves to engage in work that is fun to do. Activities that are repetitive and that required little or no thought are boring for both teachers and students .For teachers to see full engagement of students in projects presentations or class discussions, they must inspire the inner world of a child and work to maintain this enthusiasm everyday.

How, then, do we know that students are fully engaged? Perhaps the best definition comes from the work of Phil Schlecty (1994), who says students who are engaged exhibit three characteristics:  they have all the interest in their work, they don’t give up in their work despite challenges and hindrances, and they are totally delighted to accomplish their work. Practice of teaching must be learner-centered. Rams den (2003).

It’s a bit challenging but essential to provide a practical model. However according to Richard (1995), people who are engaged in their work are driven by four very important goals: 

  1. Success (the need for mastery)
  2. Curiosity (the need for understanding),
  3. Originality (the need for self-expression),
  4. Relationships (the need for involvement with others).

A good model must therefore have the capacity to make the students feel successful, raise a curiosity in them, satisfy their natural drive towards self expression and motivate students to learn by using their natural desire to create and foster good peer relationships in order to score a high level of engagement in their classrooms. 

Before we can use success to motivate our students to produce high-quality work, we must meet three conditions: We must clearly articulate the criteria for success and provide clear, immediate, and constructive feedback. We must show students that the skills they need to be successful are within their grasp by clearly and systematically modeling these skills. We must help them see success as a valuable aspect of their personalities.

This seems quite obvious but most often we fail to meet these conditions for our students. If you look back into your life in school one can certainly remember some crucial skills that were not successfully mastered because they were routinely taught or just assumed rather being well modeled by the teachers.

For example, in poetry you can help your students to master skills in finding styles used and themes by asking them to give you a poem that they know of and are sure you have never tackled before, and translate it with them this will make them feel like indeed that work is their own and will motivate them to look for more poems and practice the same. Organizing symposiums and contests in the various subjects is also another way where they ar5e allowed to challenge one another with questions and debate on answers and those whose scores are highest are rewarded. Such a competition will prompt them to research more and get accurate answers. With such classroom practices you can rest assured that your students will succeed.


Richard Strong et alStrengthening Students Engagement” Sept 1995 |volume53 |number 1  Page 8-12. 

Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge

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