Examples are an important instrument to involve students more in the learning material. Giving good examples is motivating and is a good way to clarify theoretical concepts. Students often remember the theory better if they can imagine something concrete about it. This does not mean that the concrete example should replace the theoretical concept. Research shows that simple pictures of concrete things are just as abstract for students as the theoretical concept. Representing a square in mathematics with a paving stone does not make the concept clearer to many students and also distracts attention from the theoretical concept. Examples can be used as a starting point for teaching theoretical concepts. In this way, students are aware from the start that concrete reality underlies the theory. This increases the importance of the new information for the student and therefore also his interest. In that context, it is also good to let students come up with examples themselves. It is important not to do this spontaneously, but, for example, by giving them an assignment to come up with examples for the next lesson.

The assignment must be accompanied by concrete questions such as:

  • Why did you choose this example?
  • What are the consequences of your example?
  • What is the cause that leads to this example?
  • What are the advantages or disadvantages?
  • What to know we already like your example?
  • What should we still learn to understand it properly?

Questions like: Think about this. Are not focused and not directive enough. It is important that the examples collected by the students are returned to during the lesson. The effectiveness is further increased by doing this in a certain systematic way. A systematic analysis of the examples teaches students a thinking pattern with which they can interpret new data themselves. New media are ideal for letting students hear or see examples. The teacher must be aware that the connection between the various media presentations and, for example, his own explanation is not clear to every student. The teacher must explain that connection explicitly.