Friday, August 31, 2018

Children learn in different ways. Do they?

Not a week passes by when I don’t read an article on the internet about how kids learn differently.
Here is one such article.

For years teachers and students have had to struggle with how to teach and how to learn. Each teacher has their particular style but then so do most students. The problems develop when teachers and students don’t match.
Educational science has studied these questions for years and has determined that when some individuals struggle with learning it may be entirely a question of how they are being taught.

My comment: If science has determined that learning may be entirely a question of how kids are being taught then why not teach the kids the way they should be taught?
Why doesn’t ‘Educational Science’ explicitly say how children should be taught?

Another article says the following.

Understanding how your child learns can make their education a better experience for all. Learning and school is not a one-size fits all.

My comment: As far as kindergarten and early primary schooling is concerned what I have learned by teaching kids who could not read English even after 2 years in kindergarten and primary one is that ‘One size does fit all’.

We will examine this later with some illustration.

Many articles keep saying that kids learn in three different ways. There are

  •          Auditory or language learners
  •          Visual learners
  •          Kinaesthetic or tactile learners

But, are schools not using all three methods to teach kids in school? The teacher speaks (auditory), she writes on the black/white board (visual) and children are made to write (tactile). So, what then is the problem?

I believe there are kids who are logical or analytical learners. These kids learn through patterns and seeing how things relate to one another. I have covered this in ‘Initial learning’ in my book ‘Shut Down kids’.

You may get a copy of my book from this link

These are the kids who shut down from learning to read when things do not relate to each other. They shut down when what they had initially learned (wrong teaching by teachers) does not relate to what they are subsequently taught.

These are the kids who ask me a lot of questions (because I teach on a one on one basis) to understand how things relate to one another but shy away from asking teachers in a class setting.

These kids are capable of logical thinking from a very young age and when things are illogical they shut down from learning.
Let us see how we can illustrate the above.
Assuming that there are only two types of cars in the world:

i.                    Car A which can run only on diesel.
ii.                  Car B which can run on diesel, petrol and/or a mixture of diesel and petrol.  

Let us further assume that a friend has lent you a car and is unable to be contacted. When you want to drive the car you find it has no fuel; what fuel will you fill the car up with? Please think before proceeding further.

The obvious answer is to fill it up with diesel.

Similarly, there are about 30% of kids who learn when they are taught explicitly and systematically. The other 70% are like car B and they learn in whatever manner they are taught. As such I will teach all of them explicitly and systematically so that all 100% of them will be able to learn to read.

We can then save millions of dollars that are now being wasted in intervention/remediation.

1 comment:

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you very much, Orewon. Yes, please share it with your contacts. Please ask any questions you may have on any of my posts.