Essay: The correlation between academic achievement and student stimulation

Education systems today employ a variety of opportunities for students to gain interest, orchestrating academic growth and progression throughout childhood and adolescence.
Academic achievement and student stimulation is considered to have a strong positive correlation. The more engaged a student is while being instructed, the greater the chances of individual academic success as they tend to actively participate in classroom structure, have a tendency to grasp materials faster and develop deeper engagement with the instruction. The modality of learning occurs when the student is interested and committed to the materials being presented. Many advances are being made in an effort to increase student stimulation, including the integration of technology within the classroom. Several studies affirm that technology has the potential to increase student involvement greatly and thus enhance academic achievement.
Use of instructional technology is based on a number of critical learning theories. The social, cognitive and constructivist paradigms of learning are relevant to understand the concepts that form the basics of this study. Social cognitive theory, as advocated by Bandura and Vygotsky, places importance on the cultural aspects of the child as they view that learning is filtered through a child’s culture, both in its content and style of thinking. In the social cognitive learning perspective, students learn best in the company of others, social groups playing an influential role in the development of understanding. Pedagogically, learning is facilitated through guided instruction, problem-solving, and peer interactions. Bandura (1977, p. 22) states ‘Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do . . . most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action’. This is consistent with Vygotsky’s (1978) perspective that social interactions are fundamental to learning. Because he believed that social exchanges are so important to learning, he advocated designing curricula emphasizing the dynamic role students must play in learning activities. He stated ‘that instruction is most efficient when students engage in activities within a supportive learning environment and when they receive appropriate guidance that is mediated by tools’. Among the tools available for implementation as cognitive strategies are the computer-supported Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). Glover, Miller, Averis, and Door (2007,
p. 17) state that through the use of the Interactive Whiteboard, teachers ‘become more aware of the nature of interactivity and its stimulation as the basis for conceptual development and cognitive understanding’. This is supported by another study evaluating teacher perceptions of student collaboration and interactivity.

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