Relevance is a key driver for learning

Updated 9.12.2021

Today, I would like to talk about an important concept in teaching and learning. Relevance.
Every teacher has been asked the question “Why should I learn this?”. Chances are, that you have asked it yourself when you went to school.
One answer, which is often given, is that the topic will be part of your exam later on.

This answer is, of course technically correct. But it is not a satisfying one. It implies, that the only goal of learning something is in order to pass a test.

You ask me, that is not exactly motivating.

Connecting lessons to real-world matter adds perceived relevance
Perceived relevance can greatly improve cognitive learning

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I am from Germany but have spent more than half of my life in Denmark, and other places abroad. I have a background in teaching, both youngsters and adults. I am interested in a wide field of things, which I love to teach and write about. Sustainability, technology, politics, social change, and mental health are just some examples.

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