Understanding and applying a particular type of learning theory can make teaching experience less frustrating and more enjoyable for parents, teachers, and kids.
While there is a lot students can learn in school, the role that parents play is as important as the role of a child’s teachers. There are several different thoughts and theories about learning, but several elements are required, regardless of the type of learning theory applied.
Everyone has a particular type of learning preference that helps them learn better than the other methods. Three primary types of learning styles have been identified:
While most people are better able to learn and retain information through one of these methods over the others, it does not mean that a person should only be taught through the use one of these methods.
Using a combination of at least two of these three learning styles is the most effective way to help children get the most out of a learning experience. It is also the best way to reach the majority of the students in a class. Traditional class teaching tend to use auditory learning more than the other two, it can be difficult for students who learn best through visual and tactile learning. By showing as well as talking, it can significantly increase the number of kids who understand concepts in the classroom.
For teaching basic math, having mathematics manipulative to illustrate addition, subtraction, multiplying, and dividing can be more effective in making students understand math concept.
As class sizes get bigger, there is less and less opportunity for teachers to provide a more hands-on approach. This is why a parent’s involvement is so critical. Spending half an hour with a child going over lessons using a more tactile way can help create the necessary connections a tactile learner needs. The hands-on learning experience makes it easier to help build a foundation for the more complex concepts.
There are several different theories and schools on a child’s mental development.
Piaget’s Theory of cognitive development considers playing to be a vital element in a child’s learning. The theory believes that a child is better able to understand concepts from doing rather than by being told or shown. One of the primary tenets of this theory is that children cannot fully understand abstract ideas until they are nearly teenagers (around 11 years old). By allowing them to do, children can better understand what is being taught.
I bought an abacus for my children when they start learning to count in nursery. The abacus comes in handy when they begin to learn addition and subtraction in preschool. To me, technology is able to provide limited help. Since the objects are just pixels on a screen, it is less meaningful than having physical objects.
Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory considers different types of intelligence, not just a single ability. This learning theory looks at the different senses and classifies several different types of intelligence based on those senses. The theory recognizes eight different abilities to help determine intelligence:
This theory seeks to give students a greater range for learning instead of restricting them to a single type of learning.
Montessori is usually thought of as a type of school; but it follows a particular education approach. It focuses on teaching children through giving them independence. Learning through trial and error helps students understand many different concepts from a more practical position. Montessori educators focus on giving students a limited amount of freedom. Respect is a key element for this type of learning because it teaches children to value their own thoughts and abilities while helping them grow. Social interaction is important to teaching children the value of learning from peers.
Brain based learning takes a more literal approach to educating. It is based on brain studies and seeks to help teachers and parents understand what activities activate different parts of children’s minds. The way a child is treated, the environment where the learning takes place, the connections and reinforcement are particularly important to this type of learning.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Cognitive Learning Skills focus on higher order thinking skills (critical thinking) that is vital in teaching children how to think beyond the most basic and obvious skills. It goes beyond simple memorization and questioning. Problem solving is a key component in higher order thinking, and it is increasingly important in a high tech world. One of the primary aspects is to help kids learn to identify key concepts, such as cause and effect, and expanding on those ideas.
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