發現 ~ The heart of learning
This weekend I started working with a young person who had been out of education for two years and had learning difficulties. Instead of starting on curriculum for their current age group, I suggested starting with work they may have previously covered but that would be important to review again instead of jumping straight in the deep end.
I already knew they had reading difficulties, but when I asked them to read a short paragraph to start, and at the end of which they understood nothing, there was a twenty second gap when I was seriously worried I had put them at too high a level. So I asked them to isolate the words they hadn't understood (it turned out there were only four) and instead of just telling them what they were, I got them to look each of them up so they could hear the pronunciation. I don't exaggerate when I say with that simple action, it was a light bulb moment in their head. They couldn't have smiled more if they tried.
And it was contagious.
So I asked them to read the text again. And they were still smiling. This time they had understood every word. And they went on to do all the exercises perfectly. Learning is all about discovery. But when we spoon-feed our learners, telling them the answers, not giving them adequate time to process the information for themselves, we take away that element of discovery, that element of marvel, that element of delight. Those light bulb moments which light everything up and make it all clear. For why is that so essential? Because that is where motivation is born. When you discover you can do something you thought you couldn't do- When you discover you can understand something you thought you couldn't understand- The feeling you get inside is so powerful and so wonderful, you just want to keep feeling it over and over again.
It's time to discover you can.
It's time to let our students discover they can too.