Learners in Ms D’s class are highly motivated. They engage in self-regulated learning, display positive behaviour, invest their effort in building social relationships, and are achievement oriented.
Ms D’s looks like a dream classroom. The good news- It is a dream that can come true. One major attribute of success here is the social environment of this classroom. Ms D believes that we are all social animals and effective interaction and collaboration are the key to our success.
Here are the four components of the social environment of Ms D’s classroom.
It refers to the learners’ belief that their teacher is supportive. Teacher support is more about how the learners perceive the support than about the support itself.
Ms D cares about her learners and builds a personal relationship with them. She not only supports them, but shows them that she supports them.
It refers to the learners’ belief that every person in the classroom, whether a teacher or a student, respects each other.
Learners in Ms D’s class never make fun of each other. She ensures that they demonstrate respect by sharing thoughts and ideas with each other without any inhibitions. She also encourages her learners to listen to each other carefully with the intention of understanding them and not with the intention of responding or objecting to what they say.
It refers to the learners’ belief that they get ample opportunities to actively participate in their own learning.
Peer interaction is an integral part of Ms D’s lesson planning. She experiments with all sorts of grouping techniques to encourage learner interaction. During independent learning, she makes the learners sit with their more knowledgeable peers so that they can interact informally with their peers to gain knowledge. Whole group activities, small group activities and paired activities are some of the techniques used by Ms D to provide a supportive social environment to the learners.
It refers to the learners’ belief that the teacher expects highly of all the learners and is not biassed towards certain learners.
Ms D’s learners feel secure and confident because Ms D ensures that she does not point out top scorers as examples. She encourages all of her learners to score to the best of their ability and praises their efforts rather than their intelligence.
Notice how Ms D’s classroom has the social environment that fosters motivation and provides space to learners to make mistakes, to struggle with ideas and to try different solutions.
P.S: By developing these components in your classroom, you can create a social environment that is quite similar to Ms D’s.
If you want to dive deeper into this area of teaching and learning, please feel free to check out our course on Management of Classroom Dynamics.