4 Rs of learning for all students

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

I recently realized that the last post I wrote on education or tips for educators was in October 2020! How did it happen? I am a full time educator and I love my job. One of the key elements of writing my blog is sharing information about learning and teaching. As you may know from reading my blog, dawnandhope is a motivational lifestyle blog with niches of family, self-care, educator tips, and travel. It seems that during the COVID era last year, most of my posts were about family and personal care, hence the need for this article. Today I am writing about the four Rs that are most important for all student learning.


So what are the 4 Rs for learning? Why are they important? To actively involve students in learning, whether in a private or public school or at home, it is important to keep engagement and innovation at the heart of it. The 4 Rs – Rigor, relevance, relationships and real-life experiences are the foundation of any type of learning. The old traditional model of the teacher being the sage on stage, and the students being on the sidelines as passive recipients, are long gone.

Research shows that the traditional method of learning doesn’t work, period. In today’s world, embracing 21st century skills and preparing all of our students requires motivation and active engagement on the part of students. Commitment and motivation only come from students who are actively involved in the learning process – be it project-based learning, transversal projects, design-based teaching or thematic units. . Education sectors around the world are embracing ways to connect with students to make learning authentic.

Image of Dimitris Vetsikas of Pixabay

In addition to academic learning, it is very important to meet the social and emotional needs of students. In my previous articles I wrote about equality and equity, social emotional learning and culturally appropriate education. Teaching is an art and a science. If you are interested, read this book below by Robert Marzano, who has written many bestselling books for educators around the world. This includes over 50 educational strategies for reaching and teaching children.

The 4 Rs of learning

Read on for each of the 4 Rs of Learning below to make sure students are learning to the best of their ability and potential.


Rigor means meeting students and challenging them academically, intellectually and personally. For example, worksheets and multiple choice questions are not rigorous because students may not have to think outside of their comfort level. In opposition, asking for an open response, having a debate by taking a stand, having the choice in the way of presenting a project / product, using dialogues or discussions are ways of trying to make the content rigorous for the students. . In the education sector, the Proximal Development Zone (ZPD) emphasizes the need for teachers to reach out to students at their level and then teach them in a way they understand and understand correctly. above their comfort zone. Learning should neither be too easy nor too difficult.

Image of Mario hernandez of Pixabay

If you are interested, you can read the book “Rigor is not a 4 letter word” by Barbara Blackburn. Click the click below to buy from Amazon.

Another recommended reading is “Understanding Rigor in the Classroom” by Robert Marzano.


The relevance or understanding by students of why they need to learn something is very important. Students who are not academically disabled may wonder why? Why do I need to learn this? This can be a difficult situation for teachers, but finding relevance and connecting them to student interests yields rewarding results for both students and teachers. Effective teachers make sure to give examples and show how and why the content they learn matters and matters. This leads to better engagement and better involvement of students.

Image of Selver Učanbarlić of Pixabay

If you are interested, read Robert Marzano’s book on Classroom Teaching Aimed at Improving Student Achievement. Click the link below to buy from Amazon.


I believe that relationships are at the heart and the basis of all learning. This does not mean that all teachers should know all students on a personal level. No, it is not possible, but getting in touch with the pupils and taking time at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year, getting to know your pupils helps a lot! My personal experience of working in high school and college confirms this data. Sometimes the students will work just for you, the teacher, even if what they learn may not mean much to them. There are many ways to build relationships with your students. Icebreaker activities at the start of the school year, using time spent in the classroom to have open dialogues with students, conducting surveys on learning styles and parental involvement / community are just a few examples of trying to build relationships with students.

Image of Stacey kennedy of Pixabay

Read this book on how authentic classroom relationships make learning real and relevant. Click on the Amazon link below to purchase.

For more information on student engagement, you can read this book by Robert Marzano.

Real life experiences

While we can’t get students out of the four walls of the classroom every day, there are several ways to add real-life experiences to learning. Real-life concepts make learning fun, engaging and motivating. Every core subject like math, science, social studies, and English (reading and writing) can be taught in context. This is also doable for elective courses, be it art, foreign language or even physical health. As I mentioned earlier, using projects to learn topics and units is a great way to incorporate relevance and real-life experiences.

Image of Gábor Adonyi of Pixabay

Food for thought

Whether you are a parent or a teacher or a guardian or a family member, I hope every member of society understands the importance of education. In the 21st century, skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication are vital for deeper learning and long-term retention of information. When there is hands-on learning and students are able to connect it using their diagram, the real education begins. I love this quote from the Dalai Lama.

When we educate the minds of our young people, we must not forget to educate their hearts

Dalai Lama

Pin for later
Pin for later


In conclusion, authentic learning happens best when it is rigorous and relevant, and has real connections and relationships. In addition to academic learning, it is important to have a holistic approach where the socio-emotional needs of the students are also met.

Dear readers, we would love to hear from you. Do you or your children have personal experience with them in the field of education? What engages your child the most? Share any other tips you may have that make learning fun and motivating for your kids. You can comment below or send an email to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *