Parents believe school could be more fun for kids

Kids aren’t enjoying school as much as they should be, eight in 10 parents believe.

A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LEGO Education has concluded that 80% of parents say their children either dislike or are bored at school.

One thousand parents were observed and more than half (57%), attributed this belief to a challenging workload that makes their kids feel like they’re falling behind.

About 52% noted that a decrease in hands-on projects that broaden a kid’s collaboration and interaction skills influenced their child’s boredom.

Seventy-four percent of parents saw the use of STEAM (an acronym for science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) for the future, with 70% revealing that their child is keen to explore a STEAM career.

But three in four caregivers have also noticed that their children are happy to learn in elementary school, however, their interest wanes in middle school.The biggest hurdles that these parents face when transitioning their kids from one grade to another include: staying engaged or focused (52%), dealing with more challenging material (48%) and getting used to new teachers’ expectations (48%).

They even acknowledged that their kids get frustrated at times when their homework is too difficult (73%), with some believing that they lack understanding of their assignments (62%) and feeling too intimidated to ask questions (62%).

The poll also asked 1,000 teachers to examine how they can fester their students’ interests. Nine in 10 (91%) teachers bring hands-on learning tools into their classrooms. Eighty-seven percent saw an improvement in student engagement by using hands-on lessons.

Seventy-four percent of educators try to make learning fun by adding games and quizzes to their teaching routines, with 49% adding progress indicators such as points or badges and 49% through competition.

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Parents placed progress indicators (54%) and level progressions with increasing difficulty (52%) as the game-style components as the elements that they wish teachers would use the most. There are also several skills that parents desire for their children to develop while in school. Fifty-nine percent hope their kids can learn to work under time pressure and 57% want them to develop social-emotional skills like collaboration, resilience, empathy, and emotional regulation.

Eight in 10 (82%) teachers also believe group projects should be introduced much earlier in students’ childhoods.

There’s never been a better time to rethink learning to make it more joyful, where classrooms are full of engaged students, ‘aha’ moments, and opportunities to build resilience and life skills, Dr. Jenny Nash, Head of Education Impact, U.S. for LEGO Education said.

She continued, This survey shows both teachers and parents want this for their students, and it’s with hands-on learning that we can create these motivating, memorable, and meaningful learning experiences for our students. Teachers expressed awareness of the long-term effects STEM and STEAM can have for their students. Nearly eight in 10 (78%) said these concepts help improve collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, and seven in 10 (69%) believe they’ll improve students’ confidence, Dr. Nash went on.

Uplifting students’ confidence and curiosity in the classroom can be a key factor in helping them engage in school time activities more. Teachers have found the most impressive ways to implement this are with hands-on projects (70%) and having students work together on group presentations (70%).

Other methods include letting students make mistakes without judgment (63%), as well as the freedom to make mistakes (68%).

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