Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Loving to Learn

IN FACT it is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instructions have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. ~ Albert Einstein

Individuals have their own ways of perceiving and learning, and while public schooling is now all about standardized drilling and testing, other educators and parents are realizing more and more that there are as many ways to learn as there are individuals, even when it comes to the basics of reading and writing.

A favorite example of this is an experiment done all the way back in the 1920's in Winnetka, Illinois. First graders of similar mental and chronological age, as well as similar home environments, were divided into two groups - one group was taught to read using traditional methods that had gotten fairly good results but still ended in some kids not getting it. The second group was treated very differently. Children were given books and reading materials to peruse as they wished. They were read to, individually and in groups. They were helped and instructed when and if they asked. Their teachers modeled enjoyment of books and reading.

Each of the two groups was tracked for the next seven years. In the first year, the kids instructed with the traditional method were clearly better readers. Every year after that, the second group excelled progressively more in reading, academic and people skills. By the final year, the second group was found by outside teachers and psychologists to show enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, cooperation, and spontaneity, far more than the kids who had been taught by right/wrong, success/failure, reward/punishment methods.

How simple can it be?

A few helpful guides to finding the way are posted here:
And this is an absolutely fantastic book whether your child is homeschooled, unschooled, or goes to a public or private school,
available here:

Note: the creator of the brain illustration is unknown to me, but I would like to give proper credit if the person is found. Any clues, please let me know.

1 comment:

Patty said...

I needed to hear this.