How do we best engage children in their learning and achieve the best learning outcomes? What if a change of pedagogical approach could not only provide better results, without creating extra work or take up valuable time, but make our jobs easier too?
The best Teachers engage children in optimal learning through evidence-based pedagogies and programs that deliver meaningful, relevant and enjoyable experiences to deliver better learning outcomes.
In this article we'd like to share the key points especially for Teachers and Educators from the Eat Smart B Active® program's evidence-base that was published in the International peer-reviewed Paediatrics Journal - Children, along with SIX evidence-based strategies every Teacher should have in their Teaching Toolkit.
Firstly, ‘evidence-based’ is a term thrown around a lot these days, and it’s important to understand how you can effectively use ‘evidence-based’ programs in your classroom for best learning outcomes. ‘Evidence-based’ interventions are practices or programs that have been rigorously scrutinised and have peer-reviewed documented empirical evidence of effectiveness, and have been published in highly credible Journals.
Personally, we're passionate about supporting Teachers and Educators to deliver engaging and accurate Health Curriculum lessons. However, over the years, unfortunately we’ve heard many incorrect health messages being taught to children. Imagine if you heard a Teacher teaching their class that 4 + 5 = 8 or that school is spelt ‘Skool’… Acceptable teaching? Not at all.
As Teachers and Educators, we’re not Nutritionists. So when delivering Health education, best practice is to consult reliable and credible sources.
A scientific study of the Eat Smart B Active® program implemented by researchers at the University of Queensland, and published in International peer-reviewed Paediatrics Journal - Children, reported statistically significant improvements in school children’s nutritional knowledge, attitude, and behaviours, along with the doubling of vegetables and reduction of sometimes foods packed in children’s lunchboxes.
With a collaborative design, the Eat Smart B Active® program has been developed by Teachers, for Teachers, in consultation with Nutritionists, Health and Behavioural Specialists, Educational Specialists and Entertainment Professionals, and has been accredited by the Education Department.
The online multi-modal program engages children through the powerful mediums of music, the arts and superhero archetype to build students' knowledge and understanding, and employs curriculum aligned resources, interactive videos, quizzes and gamified learning to actively engage children in an enjoyable learning experience.
We're really proud to support the evidence-base for better health education outcomes with the Eat Smart B Active® program as an effective school nutrition program that is easy for Teachers and Educators to deliver, better engages children in their learning and delivers upon curriculum requirements to achieve optimal learning outcomes.
So, what’s the takeaway? It’s important to leverage the efficacy of evidence-based pedagogies and programs for the best educational outcomes for children.
Here's SIX engaging evidence-based strategies every Teacher and Educator should have in their Teaching Toolkit:
- Guide teaching practices by evidence-based and age-appropriate programs and interventions that are proven to work and are backed by research.
- Use Movement - research shows that when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain, so getting kids up moving will help keep them focused and learn.
- Use Music in your lessons – music has the ability to strengthen the connection between the body and brain, reduces feelings of anxiety and stress, helps children regulate their emotions and improves concentration and on-task behaviour.
- Make it Meaningful - connect children’s learning to relevant real life situations
- Gamify learning - increases learners' motivation and engagement.
- Create healthy competition - Research has found that participating in competitions can improve and have a positive impact on students’ interest, engagement and achievement.
You can read the complete published evidence-base for the Eat Smart B Active® program in the MDPI Journal - Children here.
You can learn more about the Eat Smart B Active® program here. Wishing you every success in the classroom.
David and Selina - BA (Psych) DipEd
Co-Founders | Educators