Deeper Learning: How To Help Children Learn Effectively?
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Aug 02, 2019
When we’re young, we're told to "Learn languages to communicate better.", "Do math sums to sharpen your brain." or "Learn science to be aware of the environment we're living in." But did we appreciate the need or importance of learning or even comprehend how this learning will become an integral part of our existence? While there's no end to learning, we need to make it stimulating and effective for a child such that it satiates a child’s curiosity, builds critical thinking skills, liberates them of inhibitions, and creates enough interest to move forward in the learning pyramid. Read on for ways to deepen learning in children at home and school.
How to Deepen Cognitive Learning Process in Children?
Here's how we can lay down a solid foundation for the early development of lifelong learning abilities using fun methods. Read this
Children remember things for a longer time when they follow different learning methods to process information. But how do kids usually learn?
They cram! They memorize facts (rote learning) and regurgitate them on paper during tests. The kind of knowledge is promptly forgotten later. Altering our child's frequency and potency of exposure, rather than focusing on repetitions is a concrete way to make learning last. We could start by introducing them to different learning styles to cover the major pointers at school and home. Storytelling is one of the best tested-and-tried methods of remembering difficult words and sentences. (E.g., “I sat on the MOTORBIKE to go GROCERY SHOPPING when a GIGANTIC DINOSAUR came before my VEHICLE. I applied the brakes Immediately.)
With the repetition of difficult words in a different story each time, kids learn their spellings and pronunciation easily, remember all the words in the perfect order and also, understand their usage in different sentences. Letting kids make their questions, or giving out pop-quiz, once they’ve finished reading a chapter is a good technique to re-memorize the important concepts. Another strategy could be relating the same principles to something they’ve read in the past, or something they’re about to read. Re-conceptualisation imprints the theory in their minds for a long time.
“Research states that implementing new & different learning styles in the classroom makes the process more engaging. It sets the ground for understanding different perspectives, motivates kids to practice higher-order thinking skills, and improves their attention span.” We could create opportunities for children to mutually share their experiences if we replace passive observation with active participation within the classrooms through collaborative activities (group projects, discussions, quiz, etc.). Allowing children to provide multiple answers/explanations/solutions to a question (differentiated learning), gives everyone a fair chance to answer in whatever way they want (E.g., writing, poetry, drawing, etc.). It builds the self-confidence to pursue individual interests.
At homes, through simple every-day activities (e.g., using measuring cups in the kitchen, or bathrooms), we can make intricate concepts like size, volume, number, etc. more interesting. Such activities could also be paired with classroom discussions and question-answering to stimulate natural curiosity through an inquiry-based school curriculum. Many modern schools are switching from a content-based to inquiry-led school curriculum to consolidate learning, keeping this in mind.
What are we preparing our kids for – examinations, scores, jobs, or life-long learning? Where do our assessment for learning fit into this?
Child counselors believe assessments determine the level of learning and encourage students to improve when they receive feedback on their efforts, not outcomes. Just like formal/informal assessments, self-assessment is equally important for analyzing where we stand. Maintaining a child development journal is a good strategy for helping kids assess their skills.
When children spend a few minutes to write about what they’ve learned every day, they reflect on their activities and build good writing skills. If they can’t seem to figure out what to write, we can give them cues to help them start. E.g. ask your child to do so...
- Can you list 5-10 facts that you’ve learned this week?
- What do you want to learn next?
- What fact did you have trouble understanding? & more like that
Giving structured feedback on their efforts help them in understanding their strengths and areas that require improvement. (E.g., You’ve used the adjectives and adverbs at the right places. We need to put in a little more effort in using the conjunctions.)
Why Is A Need for Deeper Learning?
Why do we need to redefine learning for the coming generations? Probably because the traditional learning models are based on memorization and reproduction, unable to meet the ever-changing demands of the future. Therefore, there’s a critical need for revamping the models and principles of learning to make them more practical and closer to real-life. A practical learning model will pay off in the long run by turning kids into lifelong learners.