Learning to Learn
During this time a child's primary mode of
occurs through use of the five senses. Learning is directly related
through experiencing the environment.
Children touch things, hold, look, listen, taste, feel, bang,
and shake everything in sight. During this development
stage, the sense of time is NOW
and the sense of space is HERE. When a child adds motor skills such
creeping, crawling, and walking -- watch out -- their environment
by leaps and bounds. Children are now exploring their environment with
both senses and their ability to get around.
This type of learning actually continues through
of twelve, but becomes less important as the years go by.
During this stage a child is busy gathering
or learning, and then trying to figure out ways that they can use what
they have learned to begin problem solving.
During this stage children will be thinking in
specifics/concrete and will find it very
to generalize. An example would be a ball: A ball is not
that you use to play a game, it is just something that you throw.
This is the time when children
learn by asking questions. Teachers and parents will begin to think
that if you hear
word "Why?" one more time that you will go crazy. Children generally
will not want a real answer to the question at this point. When asking,
"Why do we have grass?" --- The child simply wants to know that grass
is for walking on something in which to run. No technical answers
Age 7-10/11: This is a wonderful age as
children begin to manipulate data mentally. They take the
information at hand and begin to define, compare, and contrast
it. They, however, still think concretely.
If you were to ask a pre-operations child, "What makes the the wind
blow?" They would most likely answer, "There is a big fan up
there". The concrete child would put a little more thought into
it and answer something like this: "Sometimes the air is hot, and
sometimes it is cold and when the change happens, it cause wind."
The concrete operational child is capable of logical thought.
This child still learns through their senses, but no longer relies on
only them to teach him. He now thinks as well. A good
teacher for this age child, would start each lesson at a concrete level
and then move toward a generalized level.
An example of this would be:
Statement: Joey is kind:
The teacher would start out by telling about an example of what Joey
did to be kind. (Concrete)
Then add, let's talke about how Joey went about being kind. (Less
Then teach that Joey is kind. (General concept)
A seven to ten year old is very literal in their thinking. They
will take everything that you say, do, and teach at face value.
BLACK is black and WHITE is white. These children have a
difficult time with symbols and figurative language. "It is raining
cats and dog!" They expect to see dogs and cats coming down from
Age 11-up: At this time children will break through the barrier of
literalism/concrete and move to thinking in more abstract terms.
They no longer restrict thinking to time and space.
Children now start to reflect, hypothesize, and theorize. They
actually begin thinking about thinking.
In the formal operation period, children need to develop cognitive
abilities. The New Bloom's Taxonomy
better help with these learning levels.
KEY FACTORS TO REMEMBER REGARDING
LEARNING FOR CHILDREN:
rarely learn in isolation.
Learning most generally
takes place in a setting of children grouped with their peers of the
same age group.<><>
Some factors that affect learning are motivation, peer relationships
within a group, and communication between the child and the teacher.<>
Other factors are enviroment, physical setting, emotional atmosphere,
and social and cultural norms.