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How Children Learn, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 634

Reaction Paper

Introduction

This paper explores concepts of how children learn and provides a personal reaction with evidential opinions that support this.

How Children Learn

It was John Holt in his book entitled ‘ how children learn’ that provided the reader with his anecdotal observations of how children learn.  Holt believed that most children are born with a learning ability. They do not need to be coerced into learning but it is a question of gaining their trust and facilitating the natural development process of learning. Holt believed that Children are natural problem solvers and that both parents and educators tend to block what is otherwise a natural development. He cites the concept of teaching children in large blocks to pointless curriculums in what he describes as ‘ industrial factory settings’ (Holt, J. 1995).

Holt also rejected the concept that knowledge is both tsaught and passed on in an abstract manner. Holt used the notion of teaching fractions within Mathematics and the fact it had little modern day rel-world application. Equally he dismissed the concept of silly picture books and simple vocabularies. He believes that this lacked trust and confidence on the part of the teachers in order to expose the children to more complex problem solving sets. Equally he encouraged parent to partuicipate by increasing the childrens exposure to such items as Newspapers, Cross-Word puzzles and reading books that encourage their natural curiosity in the world. (Holt, 1995).

Stella Vosniadou felt teachers need to be more passive and allow student to develop under their own intuition. As such only providing help when it becomes needed. This takes on more of a facilitation role and essentially navigating the childs learning process. Confidence is a key attribute to the childs learning process and building requisite self-esteem.

Vosniadou advocated that children in order to learn should develop skill sets that include Observation, ability to memorize and focus, understanding and to take responsibility for their personal learning agenda. She considered these as cognitive abilities that required development by the teacher and that the educator needed to explore different concepts in order to exploit the natural learning capabilities of children. (Vosniadou, 2001)

Personal Reflection

Personal experience supports the views by John Holt in that children are full of ideas, curiosity and are keen to learn about their world and environment. It is the concept of an inbuilt natural curiosity that stimulates the learning process.  Equally Vosniadou is correct in the assertion that modern teaching practices should become much more of a facilitational role and directing the learning process of children and helping them to resolve areas of difficulty or problems.  Personal experience has shown that students are much more responsive to this approach and are less like to become bored or disinterested in some standard boring curriculum that is being used purely because it exists. One of the key ways in developing this potential is by that of ‘dramatic play’, thereby allowing children to freely interact with one another and explore the world in which they live.  This has been widely adopted for use in the K2 classrooms.  The interaction is seen to stimulate the children’s learning processes whilst equally gaining valuable social skills for interacting in society. (Sumsion, A.E. 2000)

Conclusion

Teachers can accomplish many different activities in order to stimulate children’s learning in the classroom. Research has proven that social collaboration amongst the children has a profound impact on developing learning skills and building self-esteem. In addition, it helps to keep children focused and involved in the academic work.  And overall improves the quality and level of bonding between teacher and pupil

References

Holt, J. (1995). How children learn. New York: Addison Wesley.

Sumsion, A. O. (2000). Early Childhood Teacher Practices Regarding the Use of Dramatic Play in K-2 Classrooms. Sydney, Australia: Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education.

Vosniadou, S. (2001). How Children Learn. Geneva: International Acadamy of Education.

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