A major challenge for many educators is students who are not motivated to focus on the material they are given and are easily distracted. This behavior may occur when the brain does not register a topic as relevant to its immediate needs, desires, or survival and consequently begins to search for anything else to focus on, such as texting a friend, doodling, or even just staring out the window.
In order to teach the brain that the material is relevant, educators should frame it so that learners can see a useful application. No matter how clear and effective the teaching is, the students will not learn something they are not paying attention to in the first place. Teaching students why they might want to learn something can help them focus much more effectively.
Another tool to intensify the learning experience is emotion. When the brain gets a little spike of adrenaline or dopamine, it is much likelier to pay attention and retain lessons learned. Role playing, field trips, and friendly competition are all examples of ways to inject these brain chemicals associated with emotion into the educational experience.
In these ways, educators can choose to apply relevance and emotion to their clear teaching, which may help students learn more effectively and get the most out of their education.