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19 September 2023

7 Ways the IPC Helps you Engage Learners and Increase Motivation through Enjoyable Learning

All International Primary Curriculum units are designed with the learner at the centre and are structured to make sure that children’s learning experiences are stimulating and therefore effective.

In IPC classrooms we don’t just want children to just be busy, we want children who are busy learning!

While learning activities are provided in the units for teachers, we recognise that teachers have a significant influence on student achievement. Here are 7 ways you can enhance learner engagement and motivation for learning.

  1. Make Learning Meaningful: Help children to see the relevance and real-world connections of what they are learning. Explain why their learning is important. Offering children content choices within tasks such as learning about their home country or allowing them to select their method of recording both increase the connection that children have with their learning. We encourage the use of current affairs and news stories to enhance tasks, this can show how what is being learned is relevant now and in the future.

  2. Prior Knowledge: IPC learners should be co-constructors rather than passive objects of their education. In the Knowledge Harvest children share what they already know about the upcoming unit, which can then be tailored to their needs. Making connections between prior learning and new content strengthens learning and builds confidence a great motivator for engagement.

  3. Experiential and active: While the Entry Point is an exciting and memorable experience, the Research, Record and Reflect activities are designed to be memorable for the learning. The tasks have been designed to be engaging and enjoyable, where learners are able to interact socially and with their environments.

  4. Learner agency: The Exit Points are learner-led, they promote the synthesis of the learning from the subjects across a unit.  Children are encouraged to decide on the best way to share their new Knowledge, Skills and Understanding with the school community making choices about both method and message. Student-led action can take place at any time and be individual or provide the opportunity for learners to advocate for a particular issue and coordinate group action efforts. Learners know they can make a difference through small behavioural changes or collaborative campaigns.  

  5. Building metacognition: Learners are introduced to metacognition through our unique Brainwave units. These help learners develop self-regulation and to know more about how they learn.  Teachers should regularly revisit metacognitive strategies and apply them within units as well as reminding learners to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning. Metacognitive skills and self-regulation are tools that empower learners to go further and face challenges including those they set themselves.

  6. Positive classroom environments: The IPC is made up of Subject, Personal and International Learning. Personal Learning supports children in developing dispositions to form healthy relationships and make positive choices in the classroom and beyond. Developing a growth mindset through appropriate challenge and praise for effort will foster stronger learner engagement. Resilience and adaptability support this and directly impact on learning.

  7. International Learning: International is an overarching concept in the IPC and ensures that all children can ‘see’ themselves in the curriculum and make connections to their own lives. The relevance of the curriculum through the international area of the curriculum is motivating for learners and secures individual engagement across all subjects.

Real engagement isn't just engagement of students (signs of attentiveness and fulfilling requirements); it's also engagement by students, evidence that they are interacting with what they learn.

4C’s for Better Student Engagement, Fisher and Frey, ASCD 2023

Learn more about the International Primary Curriculum