It is no surprise that how students perceive and relate to their teachers has an enormous impact on their academic performance.
The teacher has the task of connecting with the student and establishing grounds of commonality and a welcoming atmosphere that fosters approachability.

As a teacher, you need to bring the students to the same page that you are on. If you are educating and instructing from level 8 and the student is learning from level 2, the knowledge gap and understanding level will be so low that learning can even become uninteresting to the learner.

You need to recognize and ascertain what your students already know and think about your subject and a topic you want to teach.
When you build on your student’s prior knowledge and experience, it influences their interest level in your class. It also boosts the likelihood of them accepting your lessons and applying them when there is a need for practicality.

7 WAYS OF DETERMINING YOUR STUDENTS’ PRIOR KNOWLEDGE:

1) ASK QUESTIONS
Before the commencement of a course, present a question to get what they already know on the subject matter.
Ask for their suggestions about possible answers to a challenge.

2) CHALLENGE
You can create a challenge.
An unexpected challenge that brings what’s already within them to light.

3) CREATE
Create a model of what you know already and present it. Get theirs also and add up before going into the course proper.

4) DEMONSTRATE
Demonstrate how you would train someone in their prior knowledge and establish that ground of commonality and trust.

5) EXPOSE
Expose the students to some practical, real-life situations and ask them what tools and resources they will need to tackle it.

6) EXPLAIN
Ask the students to explain. You may divide them into groups to break up the tension and get their prior knowledge on a particular subject.

7) FILL IN
You may start a narrative and ask the students to fill in the gap with their prior knowledge.

The best teachers know this simple technique of discovering the student’s prior knowledge and engaging it.
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