How Do Children Learn?
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” Alfred Mercier
It’s true isn’t it? We’re much more likely to remember the things we like.
When I think about how I learn...
The focus is all about the task in hand. I’m motivated. Exploring. Thinking. Talking. Reflecting. Excited about what I’m discovering. I’m not thinking about what I should be learning. I’m immersed in what I am learning.
I want to find out more. I want to know the answer. I want to understand. The way the concept has been presented intrigues me and I want to pursue it.
And that is the key...
The way the concept is presented.
I will never forget a comment from a boy I was teaching in Year 3. He struggled with writing. To want to write. To think of ideas. To write them down.
So I spent a lot of time – not just with him but the whole class – on making writing almost irresistible. First hand experiences. Talking. Talking. Talking...and modelling my enthusiasm. It’s infectious.
“Can I miss playtime and finish this?” he said.
I was so pleased because he knew he could and he wanted to.
Children learn when they are having fun and teachers teach well when it’s fun.
So how do we achieve this?
It’s A Serious Business!
When we get it right, it’s more than because it’s fun.
It’s because we’ve tuned into how children learn. We know what motivates and excites them.
In that moment we capture that enquiring and interested mind and have their full attention. And we know how to overcome any fears that hinder and interrupt the learning process.
As teachers we:
- model attitudes to learning.
- give children the ‘feeling’ they can do it
- make things so appealing that children just can’t resist becoming involved.
They’re learning because they feel confident. Confident to have a go. Confident in the skills they possess to get involved. Proud of their achievements.
This is our role.
What a privilege!
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