4 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask About Student Attention

The science of attention teaches us that we tend to pay attention to what we have been taught to value and that we tend to be astonishingly blind to change until something disrupts our pattern and makes us see what has been invisible before (Davidson, 2011).

How might this statement apply to the life of a classroom teacher working with several students?

What questions might a teacher be able to derive from this statement about his or her students?

In my work with several schools across the country teachers argue that technology is the culprit of inattentiveness in their classrooms. One teacher said, “Kids today are so wired and plugged in that all they’re used to… focusing on what they’re friends are doing online…or they’re playing games online… it’s messing up how they learn in my classroom!”

Is technology really “messing up” how students learn today in our classrooms? What of “technology usage” (internet, social networking, video gaming) might teachers be able to learn and apply in their classrooms? In this quick piece I’ve identified four questions teachers need to ask themselves about student “paying attention” in their classrooms to help teachers understand strategies that may help with attention and distractions in the classroom.