Friday, September 9, 2016

Open Attitude on Alternative Styles of Learning

Sometimes conventional methods of engaging a child in learning don't work. It is during these moments that we have to be open-minded enough to consider alternative methods of learning. Sometimes we forget that learning can be fun and we become too rigid in the methods that we use to teach. Although most children do well with traditional methods of learning, every once in a while we are challenged to find other tools and methods to encourage and promote learning.

The Power of Observation
If you struggle with a child who has lost interest in learning, it is best to let go of the struggle and simply observe. What does the child enjoy doing? How does he usually approach enjoyable tasks? Does he or she seem to learn by watching, visual, or doing, hands on? Could it possibly be a combination of both? Once you ease up a little and allow the child to learn freestyle until you can figure out what type of learner he is, tension melts away making way for observations that yield answers.

Asking Questions
Once the tension from struggling has subsided, a lot of room is left for relaxed open-ended questions. The answers to these questions should unveil many solutions and ideas for a more personalized approach to learning. Once the atmosphere becomes more relaxed and stress-free the child may feel that his or her ideas are being considered. This often leads to a more open and cooperative learner.

Listening for Clues
Most children are vocal about their feelings regarding everything. Take the time to listen. Once you've heard what the child has to say and you understand it, use the information as a springboard for improved and personalized methods of learning. For example, if a 12-year-old expresses interest in reading a journal of dentistry, resist the urge to judge anything the child is saying. Instead, use the child's interests as a vehicle to teach as much as possible. Just listen. If you can figure out the child's attitudes and beliefs about learning, you are in a much better position to talk about them and perhaps dispel those beliefs.

An open and non-judgemental atmosphere are what a child needs when it comes to learning. Taking the time to listen and observe how the child learns, what methods are problematic, and what methods work, are all effective. Most importantly, an open attitude toward alternative styles of teaching and learning is key to nurturing a healthy educational environment.


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