ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Attention and Survival Value

Updated on August 2, 2012
Learning how to keep attention without creating exhaustion is vital for student learning
Learning how to keep attention without creating exhaustion is vital for student learning | Source

Do you ever wonder why you are completely exhausted after sitting in a classroom all day? Why you feel like every ounce of energy you have is gone, when in fact you have done no physical activity? A realistic reason for this exhaustion may be simply you are worn out from paying attention.


Jensen (2008) tells us that for strong attention we must orient, engage and and maintain each appropriate neural network while excluding or suppressing distractors.


When you think of the school environment there are countless distractors for our students. Making friends, classes, sports, clubs, gossip, trying to fit in, family issues, whats for lunch and so on make it amazing that any attention is left for the classroom. In addition, our body is predisposed to reserve our highest level of attention to life and death situations, situations we are happy don't occur in school.


Finding ways to make what we teach interesting and relevant to our students will result in them focusing more of their attention to our lessons.

Source
Source
Activities such as doodling, journaling, and even lunch are great ways for students to digest what you have just taught them.
Activities such as doodling, journaling, and even lunch are great ways for students to digest what you have just taught them. | Source

Making Meaning

We can provide students lessons to teach them new things, we can't make those things important or relevant to them. They need to have time to process what has been introduced to them, and then determine how this information makes a difference in their life. Providing students with down time to do this is an important step in the learning process.


Activities such as walking, journaling, lunch, recess, doodling, and such allow students' brains to figure out how to use the information you provided without the student sabotaging the process by over thinking. As we discussed before, a lot going on during non-conscious states.

Sometimes when we catch our students daydreaming, we are actually catching them learning
Sometimes when we catch our students daydreaming, we are actually catching them learning | Source

Attention Shifts

How often and how long does it take for students to absorb the new information you gave them? It depends. It depends on what background information they maybe already have on the subject and how easily they can grasp the concept. For some students it can be a short amount of time, for others it make taken longer.


The next time a student appears to be daydreaming, take a minute to think back to the information you have delivered to them. Are they simply taking time, either consciously or subconsciously to connect it with stored information in their brains.

Finding a balance between frustration...
Finding a balance between frustration... | Source
...and mastery for our students.
...and mastery for our students. | Source

Optimal State for Learning

Think back to something you learned to do. When you first started, it was probably a struggle to keep at it, you had to somewhat force yourself to concentrate on it, learn it, practice it. Somewhere, sometime this changed. As you became more familiar, more confident and better at the skill you started to enjoy it and before long could spend hours doing it without even realizing it.


Learning new things for students is the same way. When they can find a way to master a skill, they will be more likely to spend more time on it. However, if something continues to be a struggle for them, as so many academics are for some students, being forced to pay continued and prolonged attention can be exhausting.

Matching Challenge and Mastery

Teachers face the difficult challenge of trying to find curriculum that provides enough of a challenge while not reaching the level of frustration for their students. Students want to be challenged, if they aren't they will be bored, however they want to be able to ultimately be successful, if they aren't they will be defeated.

Source
Brain waves can give us a great deal of insight into when and where optimal learning can take place.
Brain waves can give us a great deal of insight into when and where optimal learning can take place. | Source

What Brain Waves Can Tell Us

As teachers we want to learn how to recognize the different states of learning and ultimately learn how to help our students recognize this for themselves. Once you can identify the different states you can identify activities and styles that work best for each. Knowing which state our students are in, and finding activities that can help them absorb, store and retain the information we hope to deliver to them.


Ask any teacher and obtaining, and keeping student attention is one of the hardest tasks they deal with day in and day out. Learning how to how to optimize attention when we do have it, will allow us to maximize learning opportunities we can provide to our students.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jeani Nugent profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanine Elizabeth 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, Wisconsin

      Its funny because I can still recall each teacher for me...the one that had the world's longest class and the one I couldn't wait to get to. I watch my daughter just love school and am so thankful she has such wonderful teachers. It is the main reason we have stayed in the town we live in... a good teacher is truly priceless!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      6 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Getting and keeping students' attention is probably one of the most difficult aspects of teaching. As a School Psychologist, I frequently had the opportunity to observe students in the classroom. Some teachers were masters at this, and others really struggled. Those that were successful brought learning to life for the students and helped them to connect it to everyday life.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)